Date: May 14, 2016
By: William Lowther / Staff reporter in WASHINGTON
The US Department of State has accused Taiwan and other countries of making “excessive maritime claims” in the South China Sea.
Office of press relations director Elizabeth Trudeau made the statement as she confirmed that the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence sailed within 12 nautical miles (22.2km) of the disputed Fiery Cross Reef (Yongshu Reef, 永暑島) earlier this week.
“The [US] Department of Defense conducted a freedom of navigation [exercises] in the South China Sea specifically in the region of Fiery Cross Reef and the Spratly Islands [Nansha Islands, 南沙群島] to uphold the rights and freedoms of all states under international law and to challenge excessive maritime claims,” she said.
“These excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea covenant,” she added.
Fiery Cross Reef was a high tide feature occupied by China, but also claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam, she said. [FULL STORY]