Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, now U.S. National Security Advisor, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. February 24, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Joshua Roberts. “China’s recent escalation of efforts to intimidate others out of developing resources in the South China Sea is disturbing,” President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted. “The United States stands firmly with those who oppose coercive behavior and bullying tactics which threaten regional peace and security.” China has been accused of deploying warships, arming island outposts and ramming fishing vessels in the resource-rich sea, also contested by Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. Washington has repeatedly criticized China’s attempts to exert growing dominance in the disputed waters, but Bolton’s latest broadside comes as the two economic superpowers face off in a damaging trade war. Bolton’s statement came as Chinese oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts returned to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf on August 13, less than a week after leaving on August 7. The Chinese vessels had infringed on Vietnamese sea territory, around the Vanguard Bank in the southern area of the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the… Read full this story
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