The Chinese foreign Ministry once again accused the US Navy of violating the sovereignty of China in the waters of the South China Sea. This time the incident occurred near the archipelago, which was historically disputed by China, Vietnam, not recognized by Beijing, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei. American geological exploration suggests that there are deposits of oil and natural gas on the shelf of the Islands.
After Monday night two warships of the US Navy’s 7th fleet entered the 12-mile zone off the coast of the Islands, which Beijing calls its territorial waters, these destroyer maneuvers with guided missiles on Board caused “the expected anger of Beijing,” CNN reports.
The American side once again explained their “commitment to freedom of navigation” and the desire to “demonstrate that the United States intends to fly, swim and conduct operations wherever international law allows.” In turn, the Chinese foreign Ministry accused the Americans of trying to destabilize the situation in the South China Sea.
Such incidents in its waters occur regularly. Thus, in December, another American destroyer approached the shores of the Sishi Islands (Paracel Islands), which have been under the control of the Chinese side since 1974 and are disputed by Vietnam. China also accused the US Navy of invading its territorial waters, deploying missiles “capable of hitting medium and large ships” there, and generally violating international law and the sovereignty of the Republic.