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Japan To Join U.S. in South China Sea Provocations

Japan To Join U.S. in South China Sea Provocations

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July 20 (EIRNS)–Adm. Scott Swift, the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, took a ride on a P-8 patrol aircraft over the South China Sea yesterday, in what the Associated Press described as “a move likely to irk China,” though apparently without a CNN news crew accompanying him. Swift had just left Manila, where he spent four days, likely discussing, among other things, U.S. policy in the South China Sea with his hosts. Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin welcomed Swift’s move, saying it showed America’s commitment to come to the aid of allies locked in territorial disputes with China. “Militarily, we are nothing against China,” Gazmin said. “That’s why we have been asking our allies to assist us.”

Swift is now in Seoul, where he is meeting with top South Korean defense officials, before he moves on to Tokyo, where Japanese officials are contemplating joining the U.S. in anti-China provocations in the South China Sea. According to {Defense News}, a new Japanese defense white paper, to be released later this month, will directly call China’s reclamation work on the Spratlys, “high handed,” thereby directly supporting the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam in their territorial disputes with China. The Chinese have already responded, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accusing Japan of trying to “smear China to create tensions in the region.”

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