Tuesday, April 21, 2020

USS America steams to intercept Chinese ships in disputed waters

USS America has steamed to intercept a Chinese government survey ship and several of its China Coast Guard escorts after they ventured into contested waters off the coast of Malaysia, amid an international maritime dispute between the two countries.

By Luke Kenton

USS America has steamed to intercept a Chinese government survey ship and several of its China Coast Guard escorts after they ventured into contested waters off the coast of Malaysia - amid an international maritime stand-off between the two Asian nations.

The United States called on China to stop its 'bullying behavior' in the South China Sea on Saturday, citing concerning reports regarding Beijing's 'provocative' actions aimed toward offshore oil and gas developments in Malaysia's mineral-rich Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

US officials accused China of taking advantage of the distraction posed by the coronavirus outbreak to increase its maritime presence in the region, ordering them to desist.

However, the warning was not clearly not heeded, and China's survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 has persisted with a number of patrols close to Malaysian oil platforms in the South China Sea, namely the West Capella drillship, which sparked territory contentions between China and Malaysia when it began exploration activities in October.  Read more >>