China Accuses US Warship of Violating its Sovereignty
(Source: British Forces News; issued Jan 20, 2018)
The Chinese government has accused the United States of trespassing in its territorial waters after a US guided missile destroyer sailed near a disputed area in the South China Sea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China would take "necessary measures" to protect its sovereignty after the USS Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal on Wednesday evening without China's permission.

Scarborough is a tiny, uninhabited reef that China seized from the Philippines in 2012.

Known in Chinese as Huangyan Island, it lies about 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of the main Philippine island of Luzon, and about 600 kilometres (370 miles) southeast of China.

Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said a Chinese missile frigate moved to identify and verify the US vessel and warned it to leave the area.

In a statement on the ministry's website, Mr Wu said: "We hope that the US respects China's sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing".

The South China Sea has crucial shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil, gas and other mineral deposits.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has carried out extensive land reclamation work on many of the islands and reefs, equipping some with airstrips and military installations.

The United States does not claim territory in the South China Sea, but has declared it has a national interest in ensuring that the territorial disputes there are resolved peacefully in accordance with international law.

The Navy regularly sails through the area to assert freedom of navigation.

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China Should Enhance Presence in Indian Ocean to Counter India’s Missile Tests
(Source: Global Times; issued Jan 19, 2018)
India's latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), allegedly nuclear capable, poses a direct threat to China's security as well as a big challenge to the global efforts of nuclear-nonproliferation, a Chinese missile expert warned Thursday.

"We have successfully launched nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V today," the Times of India quoted Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying. There was no further comment on whether the missile had met all the parameters for the test, the report said.

After the test, the missile would be finalized and produced in large scale, and will become a fighting force in the coming years, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Though the report said the Agni-V can "reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000-kilometers," Chinese experts expressed skepticism.

"Though the missile could theoretically hit Beijing, India's missile technique is far below the standard," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Nevertheless, China should be on the alert and further upgrade its anti-missile techniques, Hu added.

Aside from the missile, India is developing various kinds of weapons to compete with China, and its development of nuclear weapons shows that India is engaging in a nuclear arms race with China, Song said.

"It is also a big challenge to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty as India owns such a big nuclear arsenal," he said.

The missile test is being dubbed as another step toward its eventual inclusion into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC). A few more tests remain to be conducted before the 50-ton missile is produced in adequate numbers, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.

The tri-service SFC was established in 2003 to manage India's nuclear arsenal, Xinhua reported.

Aside from the shorter-range missiles "Prithvi" and "Dhanush," the SFC has already included the "Agni-I," "Agni-II" and "Agni-III" missiles in its arsenal, Xinhua reported.

Thursday's test comes a day after India's joint sea drills with Japan in the Indian Ocean. India hopes to enhance cooperation with Japan as a way of restraining China, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported, citing unnamed experts.

"India is trying to build a military system with Australia, Japan and the US in order to keep a closer watch on China, which poses a direct threat to China," Song said.

China should keep increasing its economic as well as defense capability, Song added.

Song also said that since the Indian Ocean is a "must enter" region for the Belt and Road initiative as well as the national strategy of building China into a maritime power, China should also enhance its military and economic presence in the Indian Ocean.

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