THE US will be increasing its navy patrols in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, the Pentagon has confirmed – a decision that is likely to outrage Beijing.
China has previously accused the US of trying to militarise the region as escalation continue to mount over Beijing’s ally North Korea.
Since Donald Trump has taken office, a total of three navigations patrols have occurred, while in contrast, only four were conducted during the entire Obama administration.
Earlier this year satellite images revealed that China had deployed its newest Y-8X maritime patrol aircraft to the fringes of the South China Sea.
The nation’s Foreign Ministry accused the US Navy of breaking “international laws” following similar incidents in May and July.
A spokesman for the ministry said: “The US destroyer’s actions have violated Chinese and international laws, as well as severely harmed China’s sovereignty and security.
“China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the US side.”
And the USS Dewey sailed close to Mischief Reef in May.
Britain has revealed it will support the US’s efforts in the South China Sea and will send two new “colossal” aircraft carriers to the region.
Boris Johnson announced the show of strength was designed to demonstrate Britain’s support for free navigation rights in international waters at a time when China is trying to claim the area as its own.
The Foreign Secretary added that they were “not only longer than the Palace of Westminster but more persuasive than most of the arguments you will hear in the House of Commons”.
The news comes as tensions continue to escalate with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
And a huge 6.3 magnitude tremor was recorded near the North’s nuclear plant on Sunday morning, sparking fear the despot nation has conducted its sixth nuclear test.
Earlier North Korea’s state media said Kim Jong-un had supervised the loading of a hydrogen bomb into an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US.