WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Two American B-52 bombers flew over the South China Sea for the second time in ten days, the US Air Force’s Pacific Command said in a statement.
"Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and conducted routine training in the vicinity of the South China Sea March 13, 2019 (HST), before returning to base", the statement said Wednesday, quoted by the Diplomat. Wednesday’s mission followed the dispatch of two B-52 bombers over the East and South China Seas on 4 March.
The South China Sea is one of the thorns in the side of US-China relations, with the United States criticizing Beijing for moving weapons to the Spratly archipelago, something that China qualifies as interference in its internal affairs.
The United States views the sea as an international waterway and routinely defies China with patrols by American and allied warships in so-called freedom of navigation exercises that lately have been augmented with bomber flights.
The South China Sea and the East China Sea are also sources of tension for China and its neighbors, including Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, as the countries continue to argue over the waters' maritime borders. China considers the Spratly archipelago, a group of artificial islands located in the South China Sea, as its territory, despite an international tribunal ruling that these claims had no legal basis.
Speaking at an energy conference in Texas on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that China was blocking access to recoverable energy reserves worth $2.5 trillion to countries of the Asia-Pacific. According to the top US diplomat, China’s alleged illegal construction of islands in international waters was not just a security issue but one that concerned the blocking of access to resources.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday that the behavior of some faraway countries that undermine the situation in the South China Sea was irresponsible.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
does not correspond with the subject of the post;
promotes hatred and discrimination on racial, ethnic, sexual, religious or social basis or violates the rights of minorities;
violates the rights of minors, causing them harm in any form, including moral damage;
contains ideas of extremist nature or calls for other illegal activities;
contains insults, threats to other users, individuals or specific organizations, denigrates dignity or undermines business reputations;
contains insults or messages expressing disrespect to Sputnik;
violates privacy, distributes personal data of third parties without their consent or violates privacy of correspondence;
describes or references scenes of violence, cruelty to animals;
contains information about methods of suicide, incites to commit suicide;
pursues commercial objectives, contains improper advertising, unlawful political advertisement or links to other online resources containing such information;
promotes products or services of third parties without proper authorization;
contains offensive language or profanity and its derivatives, as well as hints of the use of lexical items falling within this definition;
contains spam, advertises spamming, mass mailing services and promotes get-rich-quick schemes;
promotes the use of narcotic / psychotropic substances, provides information on their production and use;
contains links to viruses and malicious software;
is part of an organized action involving large volumes of comments with identical or similar content ("flash mob");
“floods” the discussion thread with a large number of incoherent or irrelevant messages;
violates etiquette, exhibiting any form of aggressive, humiliating or abusive behavior ("trolling");
doesn’t follow standard rules of the English language, for example, is typed fully or mostly in capital letters or isn’t broken down into sentences.
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.