- - Monday, July 10, 2017

Chinese naval vessels with missiles that outgun U.S. Navy ships have regularly followed American vessels in the South China Sea since October of 2015.  Coupled with the militarization of islands in the region, this practice makes U.S. freedom of navigation operations increasingly dangerous.  

“Chinese warships now have supersonic long-range anti-ship cruise missiles such as the YJ-18 that can outrange U.S. antiship missiles,” writes Forbes. China has ratcheted up the pressure on American Pacific operations over the last few years, deploying aircraft and naval vessels to project power in the region.

“On July 2, the missile destroyer USS Stethem trespassed China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands [Paracel Islands in the South China Sea]. China dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the U.S. vessel,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang.

The rebuilding of U.S. Navy capability by the Trump administration must become a top priority for Congress and our national security apparatus. Throughout history, naval power has been an instrument to preserve the safety of a country’s population but taking the fight to adversaries before they reach one’s shores. The Obama administration purposefully worked to reduce American power and capability. Naval and overall military power are a large part of making America great again. 

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