In the midst of escalating tensions in the South China Sea, Beijing accuses the US of “provocative acts.”
TENSIONS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA have reached a breaking point after Beijing accused the US of “provocative acts” and claimed the destroyer USS Benfold was “drove away.”
The USS Benfold sailed into disputed waters near China’s Paracel Islands, which it claims as its own. The warship entered the zone without permission, according to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Beijing argued that the US action infringed on its sovereignty and jeopardized regional stability.
“We encouraged the United States to immediately cease such provocative actions,” the PLA stated in a statement.
The destroyer, according to the US Navy, exercised navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity that were legal under international law.
“All ships of all governments, including their warships, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea under international law, as represented in the Law of the Sea Convention,” the Navy said.
“The United States challenged these unconstitutional limits imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam by participating in innocent passage without prior knowledge or approval from any of the claimants.”
“By executing this operation, the US established that these seas are beyond what China may lawfully claim as its territorial sea, and that China’s claimed straight baselines surrounding the Paracel Islands are inconsistent with international law,” they continued.
According to Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, the US is endangering regional peace and stability.
He warned the US to refrain from “stoking up instability” in the hotly contested region.
Freedom of the oceans, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is a “enduring” interest of all states.
“Nowhere is the rules-based maritime system more threatened than in the South China Sea,” he said.
“The People’s Republic of China continues to bully and intimidate Southeast Asian coastline states, jeopardizing freedom of travel along this vital global corridor.”
After a US-guided missile destroyer “trespassed” into Beijing’s territorial seas in the South China Sea in May, China “expelled” it.
China’s Southern Theatre Command official stated that the country will “resolutely preserve” its sovereignty and security in the hotly contested region.
After a guided-missile destroyer went through the Taiwan Strait, Beijing accused the US of “provocation.”
The US Navy issued a statement explaining why the USS Curtis Wilbur, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, was following international law.
The official told the People’s Daily that the “PLA evicted a US guided-missile destroyer.” Brinkwire Summary News