U.S. weighs more South China Sea patrols to confront ‘new reality’ of China
By Greg Torode, Idrees Ali
June 3, 2018
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The United States is considering intensified naval patrols in the South China Sea in a bid to challenge China’s growing militarization of the waterway, actions that could further raise the stakes in one of the world’s most volatile areas.
The Pentagon is weighing a more assertive program of so-called freedom-of-navigation operations close to Chinese installations on disputed reefs, two U.S. officials and Western and Asian diplomats close to discussions said.
The officials declined to say how close they were to finalizing a decision.
Such moves could involve longer patrols, ones involving larger numbers of ships or operations involving closer surveillance of Chinese facilities in the area, which now include electronic jamming equipment and advanced military radars.