US 7th Fleet ultra-active in China Sea as Trump baits China



Yesterday the Indonesia military made a fuss saying that the Xiang Yang Hong 03 Chinese research ship, has been spotted in Indonesian waters lately, without its tracking system turned on. (Chinese officials told FPMag it was broken.)

A month prior, near Sulawesi island, an autonomous underwater exploration vessel was allegedly seen by an Indonesian fishing boat captain in Indonesia’s territorial waters.

The surface vessel was first seen and unequivocally identified during operations to recover the Sriwijaya air crash plane which went into the Java Sea not long after takeoff on Saturday, with 62 souls board.


by Micheal John and Melissa Hemingway


Trump / Pompeo bash China egregiously in the waning hours of an impeached Trump regime.

Yesterday, the Trump administration put in place pervasive travel bans against Chinese officials and  families for what it said were violations of international standards regarding the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

This followed a bizarre series of US provocations during which American warships had ‘strayed‘ into both Russian and Chinese territorial waters in the Indo-Pacific regions, provoking dangerous incidents. In the case of one alleged violation, the Russian Navy had issued orders to ram the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) in the ‘Peter the Great Bay’ “if the  violator ignored warnings and remained,” sources told FPMag.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced yesterday a series of random sanctions against China as the US 7th Fleet continued to apply naval warship pressure against China in the Indo-Pacific region.

These last-minute U.S. moves against China by Trump and Pompeo are raising eyebrows around the world.

China’s state-owned oil company, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, has been added to a US trade blacklist.

“The United States stands with Southeast Asian claimant states seeking to defend their sovereign rights and interests, consistent with international law. We will continue to act until we see Beijing cease its coercive behaviour in the South China Sea,” Pompeo said yesterday in a continuing effort to allegedly, according to the Democrat side, destroy the US relationship with China to build tensions for the pending Joseph Biden presidency.

Pompeo announced last summer that America rejected all of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.


Sidebar Comment

sidebar/

FPMag has repeatedly published the historical records for the region which seriously contradict Pompeo who seems to misunderstand the South China Sea conundrum.

The islands that China claims do seem to belong to China but the waterways it claims using a bizarre theory that Chinese-owned islands are in some cases within the economic zones of other countries, hence they have impinging territorial waters of their own. Numerous precedents and the 1982 Law of the Seas Convention appear to defy that logic decidedly. The users of the islands only have waterway access and no economic zone claim inside another nations territorial waters.

That is the erroneous claim of China based on ancient 12th century thinking. The  World Court issued a non-binding ‘ruling’ favouring the Philippines, against China’s waterways claims, in July 2016. China has no claim over the waterways of the West Philippine sea nor the archipelagic waters of the Philippines or other nations in the region.

The Court did not challenge China’s ownership of the islands and America, far removed from the region, apart from its unwelcome monstrous military presence, doesn’t decide any of these matters.

America knows full well that when it handed off Philippines ownership to the Filipino people, it was not handing over the Spratly islands because they were held by China since the French-sino war in the 1700s when China took possession.  America had never owned those islands when the Philippines were taken by America from the Spanish in the late 1800s because the Spanish never had them either, they belonged to China.

Pompeo is a pompous, arrogant annoyance almost everywhere he has been in the world. As one diplomat who has met Pompeo numerous times said, on condition of anonymity, “he can’t even talk about the weather or tell one the time without arrogantly pissing people off all around him, … and that sarcastic snickering laugh of his…”.

Pompeo  will soon leave office in absolute disgrace and hopefully the new Biden administration will begin repairing the damage the Trump chaos has done. That is to say that insulted or injured parties should patiently wait for a better day and not start ramming or sinking ships.

China’s claim for various waterways is not explained and makes no sense whatsoever. What China hopes to achieve could likely be achieved without Beijing being a notorious pariah and destroying all the goodwill it would otherwise enjoy with its neighbours. As the proverb goes, “if one  can’t get along with  neighbours, one will not likely get along with anyone and become isolated”, and look what isolation has done for America under Trump.

Most nations of the world accept any invitation they get to participate in freedom of navigation exercises in South Asia to maintain the continuity of trade and commerce around the world making cooperative use of all international waterways. China has been trying to hinder that fundamental of global cooperation. Similar mistakes of China’s relationships in the past have resulted in the country taking serious hits akin to a bloody nose. Nothing about the current situation suggests a change in that outcome. Dialogue not obstinance, is needed.—Micheal John

/end sidebar.


 

USS America

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) lands on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6).
America, lead ship of the America Amphibious Ready Group, along with the 31st MEU, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Cavenaile)

 USS John S. McCain (DDG 56)

On Dec. 22, USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands, consistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan.


Intimidation Tactics of the US 7th Fleet out of Japan

According to the US Navy Press office, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) joined the French Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) for integrated exercises in the Philippine Sea throughout the week of 19 December 2020. This was somewhat of a rare opportunity.

“Participants included John S. McCain,” says the US Navy 7th Fleet Public Affairs office in Japan.

“The French navy’s Rubis-class nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) Emeraude, Loire-class support and assistance vessel (BSAM type) Seine, and Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer JS Hyūga. The exercises focused on integrated anti-submarine warfare tactics between the three navies, strengthening cooperative efforts to support maritime security in the Indo-Pacific.”

“Anti-submarine warfare is a cornerstone in surface Navy operations,” said Lt. Ryan Mati, weapons officer aboard John S. McCain.

“This exercise not only allowed us to continue strengthening our warfighting readiness with a long-standing ally,” noted Lt. Mati,  “it imparts a unique experience for the crew.”

“To be able to operate with a partner nation’s submarine,” added Lt. Mati,  “is a rare opportunity which will further enhance our tactical mindset and allow us to execute some of the best training in this warfare area.”


Historical note: According to the U.S. Navy, the McCain entered the Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan on or about 24 November 2020 as part of the freedom of navigation exercise and the service claimed the destroyer adhered to international law while challenging “Russia’s excessive maritime claims.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its destroyer Admiral Vinogradov issued a verbal warning to the McCain and accused the U.S. warship of trespassing 2 kilometers into its internal waters, Russian news outlet TASS reports.

Russia also warned it would employ a “ramming maneuver” to drive the McCain out of the region, according to TASS.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the McCain then exited its territory and resumed sailing in international waters.


USS America and F35

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) lands on the flight deck o the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America, lead ship of the America Amphibious Ready Group, along with the 31st MEU, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Theodore Lee)

Click to super-size the photographic works of serving members. Happy New Year and safe travels, sailors.

The work of :

  • Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Cavenaile
  • Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jomark Almazan