China’s army condemns transfer of the USS John S McCain, saying it had dispatched naval and air models to observe and warn away the ship.
A US warship has sailed close to the Chinese language-controlled Paracel Islands within the disputed South China Sea in a freedom of navigation operation, the US Navy stated, the primary such mission underneath President Joe Biden’s new administration.
China’s army condemned the transfer, saying it had dispatched naval and air models to observe and warn away the ship.
The busy waterway is one among plenty of flashpoints within the US-China relationship, which embody a commerce battle, US sanctions, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
China claims virtually the entire South China Sea, an assertion that the Worldwide Tribunal at The Hague declared as with out benefit.
China has been infuriated by repeated US expeditions close to the islands that Beijing occupies and controls within the South China Sea.
China has stated it has irrefutable sovereignty and has accused Washington of intentionally stoking tensions.
‘Freedom of navigation’
The US Navy’s seventh Fleet stated the destroyer USS John S McCain “asserted navigational rights and freedoms within the neighborhood of the Paracel Islands, in step with worldwide regulation”.
It stated that the liberty of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms and lawful makes use of of the ocean recognised in worldwide regulation by difficult the “illegal restrictions on harmless passage imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam”.
The Southern Theatre Command of China’s Individuals’s Liberation Military stated the ship had entered into what it termed the territorial waters of the Paracels with out permission, “critically infringing upon China’s sovereignty and safety”.
It added that the US was “intentionally disrupting the nice ambiance of the South China Sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation”.
China took full management of the Paracels in 1974 after a brief battle with South Vietnamese forces. Vietnam, in addition to Taiwan, has continued to assert the islands.
Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines have claims to different components of the South China Sea, the place China has been constructing synthetic islands and developing air bases on a few of them.
The identical US ship concerned on this mission earlier this week transited the delicate Taiwan Strait, drawing an offended response from Beijing.
Final month, a US plane service strike group entered the South China Sea for what the Navy stated have been routine operations.