SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The head of operations of the United States Navy said on Wednesday that its freedom of navigation operations in the disputed South China Sea get more attention than they deserve.
The U.S. military said two of its warships sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Monday last week, a move that angered Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world’s two biggest economies.
“(The operations) get more attention in the media and also have, sometimes from China, than they warrant, to be honest,” John Richardson told a reporters on the sidelines of a maritime defence conference in Singapore.
In an earlier speech, Richardson said that U.S. naval operations had been consistent over decades and had not risen recently.
(Reporting by Fathin Ungku and John Geddie; Editing by Nick Macfie)