According to the Chinese military, naval and air assets were deployed by China on Tuesday as a response to the so-called freedom-of-navigation mission of the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold in South China Sea.
Ship of the Arleigh Burke class “illegally entered” the area near the Paracel Islands – which Beijing calls the Xisha Islands and claims are under its sovereignty – a spokesman for the Southern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reported on Thursday. In response, naval and aerial forces were sent to the area. “warn off”According to Colonel Tian Junli the American warship is being defended.
He claimed that passage was the key to the success of the ship “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security”He warned Washington that Washington must cease such activities. “it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen events.”
The US Navy wouldn’t immediately comment on the operation, but said it would soon release a statement, according to Reuters.
USS Benford had been deployed in the past to perform a freedom to navigation operation (FONOP), which took place near the disputable Mischief Reef. China was then attempting to landreclaim large areas of Mischief Reef. The PLA also reported that the US warship had left its territorial waters at the time.
China regards the South China Sea as an essential part of its national security. It is the most important shipping route in the world. There are many islands that have been claimed by various regional powers like China, Vietnam and Brunei. The US doesn’t support any nation’s claims and routinely sails FONOPs to challenge Beijing’s assertions of sovereignty.
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