The U.S. Department of Defense responded Thursday to China’s multiple ballistic missile launches over the South China Sea, saying the regime was violating international treaties.
The Chinese military fired missile types dubbed the “aircraft carrier killer” and the “Guam killer” in its latest attempt to project power into the South China Sea, according to The Sun. The U.S. has long resisted China’s goals in the region, and the missile launches came roughly a week after the U.S. announced the sale of 90 F-16 fighters to Taiwan, a longtime rival of China.
“This military exercise is the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea,” the Department of Defens said in a statement. “The PRC’s actions, including missle tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea.”
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 27, 2020
The U.S. also said China’s actions violate the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei all have claims to sovereignty over parts of the area, but China argues it belongs to them almost entirely. (RELATED: Democratic Witness In House Coronavirus Hearing Pleaded Guilty In 2019 Sex Abuse Case)
The U.S. imposed restrictions Wednesday on a number of Chinese state-owned companies that were being used to increase China’s influence in the area.
“Since 2013, [China] has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
President Donald Trump’s administration has been increasingly critical of China since the coronavirus spread out of Wuhan to the rest of the world.