Trump official: China should be denied South China Sea access

13 Jan 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

Rex Tillerson, US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state (foreign minister), said China should be denied access to its islands in the disputed South China Sea.

He was speaking at his senate confirmation hearing.

He said China's construction of artificial islands with military assets are "akin to Russia's taking Crimea" from Ukraine.

In context: Senior Trump official sets course for China confrontation

18 Jul 2016Chinese admiral warns against military patrols in South China Sea

A senior Chinese admiral said freedom of navigation patrols by foreign militaries in the South China Sea could end "in disaster," largely in reference to the US.

He said China supports freedom of navigation but opposes military patrols.

He said China must bolster its naval capabilities in the wake of the international tribunal ruling quashing its territorial claims.

09 Aug 2016Report: China reinforces military presence in South China Sea

China appears to have built reinforced aircraft hangers on islands in the disputed South China Sea, according to recent satellite photos analyzed by a Washington-based think tank.

The hangers on the Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly islands are capable of holding all types of Chinese fighter jets.

China claims the disputed region as its territory.

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22 Oct 2016US Navy warship sails through disputed South China Sea

USS Decatur, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, conducted a freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea.

The US said the patrol was aimed at informing China that it can't "unlawfully restrict the navigation rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea."

China's called the patrol "illegal" and "provocative" and said two Chinese warships told the Decatur to leave.

13 Jan 2017Trump official: China should be denied South China Sea access

ProfileWho is Rex Tillerson?

Rex Tillerson is the former chairman of oil giant Exxon and has been nominated by US President-elect Donald Trump as secretary of state (foreign minister).

Tillerson's nomination came under criticism due to his perceived close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He was the director of Exxon's Russian subsidiary and has received an Order of Friendship state honour from Russia in 2013.

13 Jan 2017Chinese media: America's next top diplomat's statement could cause war

US President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state Rex Tillerson said China's access to the South China Sea should be blocked.

China's foreign ministry responded by saying "non-regional" countries like the US should not intervene disputed region.

China's state-owned newspaper China Daily warned that Tillerson's statement "would set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the US."

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24 Jan 2017Trump administration ups the ante on South China Sea

White House spokesman Sean Spicer has warned that the US would prevent China from gaining control over territories in the disputed South China Sea's international waters.

Spicer's comments are a sharp departure from the previous administrations' cautious approach to China's territorial claims.

Analysts believe Spicer's statement which suggests a possible US military action would risk armed confrontation with China.

31 Jan 2017Trump, Beijing spar over South China Sea

The Trump administration irked China with their plan to challenge Chinese claims on the disputed islands in the South China Sea.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer ruffled feathers in Beijing when he said "we're going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country."

However, Beijing has stood its ground calling for bilateral negotiations between the claimants.

10 Feb 2017US and Chinese aircraft come close over South China Sea

A US official said a US Navy P-3 surveillance aircraft came close to a Chinese military plane over the disputed South China Sea.

The US Navy reportedly believes the incident, which took place in the vicinity of the Scarborough Shoal, was "unsafe" and inadvertent.

China said its aircraft's pilot took "legal and professional measures."

China claims the Scarborough Shoal as its territory.