Monday, May 18, 2015

Pity We Misspoke, All Things Considered

China doesn't like it that we aren't going along with their rejection of international law that makes the South China Sea international waters:

"The Chinese side will take resolute measures to safeguard national sovereignty and safety. We will keep an eye on the situation in relevant waters and airspace and respond to any violation of China's sovereignty and threat to China's national security," said Hua Chunying, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, according to USA Today.

On Monday the USS Fort Worth traveled through the South China Sea near man-made islands in an area where Philippine and Japanese navies have coordinated exercises.

Army Col. Steven Warren said Wednesday the Pentagon will continue to patrol the area around the disputed Spratly Islands, claimed by China, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Warren said China's man-made islands cannot be recognized as extensions of the Chinese mainland, according to international law.

Fort Worth is one of our new Littoral Combat Ships.

She also sent up a helicopter and drone to challenge any claims that China owns the air space above the sea:

The USS Fort Worth, one of the most modern ships in the U.S. navy, dispatched a reconnaissance drone and a Seahawk helicopter to patrol the airspace, according to a little-noticed statement on the navy's website.

In that light, it's a pity we misspoke:

A U.S. official misspoke when he told a Senate committee in the United States this week about plans to base long-range B-1 bombers and other surveillance aircraft in Australia, a spokesman for Australia's defense minister said on Friday.

It's a pity because B-1 bombers loaded up with long-range anti-ship missiles (LRASM) based in Australia would be a wonderful addition to our assets capable of contesting the South China Sea.

UPDATE: One of our new P-8 long-range Navy aircraft flew through air space that China unlawfully claims to own.