Washington – The Obama administration on Friday warned China against further moves to tighten control over a disputed section of the South China Sea, as tensions rose in the flash-point region.
In a statement, the State Department cautioned China about its addition of a military garrison and civilian officials near the contested Scarborough Reef and its use of barriers to deny access to foreign ships.
These moves “run counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region,” said the statement, issued Friday.
Six countries have complex competing claims to the region’s water and islands, which are rich in fish, oil and gas and other resources.
China’s recent moves over the Scarborough Reef have ruffled feathers in several nations, including Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines. There also have been reports that China is preparing to invite oil company bids for energy exploration in the area.
Military historian John Keegan dies at 78
London – British academic John Keegan, whose studies of men at war are counted among the classic works of military history, has died, the Daily Telegraph said Friday. He was 78.
A scholar of battle who never served in the military, Keegan’s interests ranged from the American Civil War to the Iraq War by way of Agincourt, Waterloo and both world wars. His 1976 work “The Face of Battle,” which provided a soldier’s-eye view of the blood and terror of combat, remains one of his most popular works.
Born in London on May 15, 1934, Keegan followed the progress of World War II from rural England, where his father had been charged with looking after children evacuated from the cities to escape German bombing.
His interest in war grew into a specialization in military history at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1957 he received a scholarship for travel to American Civil War battlefields. He then worked at the U.S. Embassy in London, and he would remain a strong supporter of the alliance between Britain and the United States.
From 1960 to 1985 he taught at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst – Britain’s equivalent of West Point – before joining the Telegraph as defense correspondent in 1986.