China said the US destroyer was warned for the second day the US Navy said its ship had successfully challenged China’s maritime claims.
The Chinese Ministry of Defense said it had – for a second time – monitored and hunted the US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Milius after it entered what Beijing claims to be its territorial waters in the south china sea near the Paracel Islands.
Friday marked the second straight day of a stalemate – and heated words – between the two superpowers amid rising tensions in the South China Sea.
“We sternly urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative acts, otherwise it will suffer the serious consequences of the unforeseen incidents,” a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
“The act of the US military has seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security, seriously violated international laws, and is more compelling evidence that the United States is pursuing shipping hegemony and militarizing the South China Sea. southern region,” ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said.
He said China would take “all necessary measures” to ensure its territorial security, but did not give details.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command said in a statement on Thursday that the USS Milius was found intruding on the waters around the Paracel Islands and that the Navy and the he Chinese Air Force was mobilized to “warn” the ship which had then left the area.
The US Navy disputed the Chinese version of events, saying the destroyer left the area at the end of a “routine operation”.
As China issued its second protest and warnings on Friday, the The US Navy issued a lengthy statement specifying that the USS Milius was committed to asserting “the rights and freedoms of navigation in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands, in accordance with international law”.
The USS Milius’ Freedom of Navigation operation was a legal use of the sea and challenged “restrictions on innocent passage imposed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC)”, as well as Taiwan and Vietnam – which also have land claims in the disputed South. China Sea – the US Navy said.
On March 24 (local time), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands, in accordance with international law.
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China, Taiwan and Vietnam all claim sovereignty over the Paracel Islands, the Navy continued, and “in violation of customary international law, all three claimants require prior authorization or notification before a vessel military or warship engages in an “innocent passage” through the territorial sea”.
“The United States challenges excessive maritime claims around the world, regardless of the identity of the claimant,” the Navy said.
“The operations demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law permits – regardless of the location of excessive maritime claims and regardless of current events,” he added.
The war of words is just the latest manifestation of growing tension between US and Chinese forces deployed in the South China Sea.
In early January, China’s Defense Ministry accused the United States of violating international law and “slander and hype” following a confrontation between a Chinese fighter jet and a US reconnaissance plane overhead. of the South China Sea.
The American army claims that a Chinese J-11 fighter plane came within six meters (20 feet) of the American RC-135 surveillance plane on December 21, forcing the latter to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision. China said the US plane was carrying out intentional close reconnaissance on China’s southern coast, so the People’s Liberation Army sent fighter jets to track and monitor the plane.
Relations between the United States and China have grown increasingly strained recently, with growing friction between the world’s two largest economies over a range of issues, including the self-governing island of Taiwan, the slaughter of what the United States has described as a Chinese spy balloon – which Beijing has denied – and the deepening of relations between Beijing and Moscow.