Carter will visit the USS Theodore Roosevelt with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, U.S. officials said. The warship is “conducting routine operations while transiting” the East Vietnam Sea, Carter said on Wednesday after a meeting of defence ministers from Southeast Asia in Malaysia, a forum marred by U.S.-China disagreements over the busy sea lane. China claims most of the East Vietnam Sea, through which more than US$5 trillion in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims. Carter’s visit will come just a week after the USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, challenged territorial limits around one of China’s man-made islands in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago with a so-called freedom-of-navigation patrol. Beijing has rebuked Washington over the patrol while China’s navy commander has warned that a minor incident could spark war in the East Sea if the United States did not stop its “provocative acts”. The U.S. Navy plans to conduct patrols within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the East Sea about twice a quarter to remind China and other countries about U.S. rights under international law, a U.S. defence official said on Monday. U.S. defence officials have said Carter would… Read full this story
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