The US is patrolling the South China Sea more than ever
US Navy patrols near disputed features claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea hit a record high last year, newly released figures show, as the Trump administration ramped up its efforts to challenge China’s territorial claims in the contested waterway. US Navy vessels sailed within 12 nautical miles of features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the US Pacific Fleet – the highest number of so-called freedom of navigation patrols (FONOPs) since Beijing controversially began constructing artificial islands around disputed reefs in the waterway in 2014. Washington carried out five such operations in 2018, six in 2017 – President Donald Trump’s fir
China imposes sanctions after Trump signs democracy act
China has suspended visits by US military vessels and aircraft to Hong Kong, and sanctioned several US-based organizations, a few days after US President Donald Trump signed a law increasing scrutiny of the city. Beijing said it was sanctioning US-based non-government organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, alleging they are “supporting violent activities” in the city.