The US Pacific Fleet made a statement on the report of Taiwanese newspaper Want China Times regarding China’s deployment of surveillance vessels off the coast of Hawaii. The action of China, according to the report, was in response to the US Navy’s monitoring activities of disputed islands in West Philippine Sea.
“I will say that it is a fundamental right of all nations for military ships and aircraft to operate in international waters and airspace in accordance with well-established international law,” Captain Darryn James, U.S. Pacific Fleet chief spokesperson said as quoted by Stripes.com, a US Department of Defense authorized news outlet.
“The U.S. Navy closely monitors all activity in the Pacific, so regardless of what the Chinese navy does, we won’t be caught surprised,” Capt. James added.
He added that he is not “going to speculate about a vague news report on Chinese surveillance ship intentions.”
US Secretary of Defense Carter earlier vowed that US will remain as the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come. “The United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.”