South China Sea patrols have not increased, US Navy saysChina | 15 May 2019 5:22 pm
A top U.S. admiral says the Navy has not stepped up maritime patrols to challenge China's sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea but is maintaining a "consistent'' presence in the disputed waters.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson sought today to reassure regional partners, some of whom have opposing claims in the waters but benefit from good relations with China on other fronts.
Richardson says, "I've done the analysis so that I can state with confidence that our level of operations, our presence there, has been consistent over the decades. There's nothing that has spiked recently.''
He was addressing a maritime security conference in Singapore attended by representatives from 33 navies, including 16 navy chiefs.