BEIJING, July 13 – RIA Novosti. The Chinese command accused the American warship of illegally invading the waters of the disputed Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.
“The US guided missile destroyer USS Benford illegally entered the territorial waters of China’s Xisha Archipelago (Paracel Islands) on July 13 without permission from the Chinese government,” Tian Junli, spokesman for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Combat Command South Zone, said in a statement.
According to him, the actions of the US military seriously violate the sovereignty and security of China, undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea, and violate international law and basic norms of international relations.
These actions have become yet another strong evidence that the United States is trying to militarize the South China Sea, Tian Junli stressed.
“The facts once again demonstrate that the United States is the real creator of security threats in the South China Sea, as well as the destroyer of peace and stability in the region,” he concluded.
For decades, Beijing has been arguing with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region over the territorial ownership of the islands in the South China Sea, on the shelf of which significant hydrocarbon reserves have been discovered. We are talking primarily about the Xisha archipelago (Paracel Islands), the Spratly and Huangyan Islands (Scarborough reef). Viet Nam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines are involved to varying degrees in this dispute.
The situation is often complicated by the passage of American warships in disputed waters, which, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, violate international law and undermine China’s sovereignty and security. Despite Beijing’s protests, Washington declared that the United States would “float and fly” wherever international law permitted it.
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