February 21, 2024
Beijing hit out at Washington on the weekend, describing it as “the most important disrupter of peace” within the South China Sea after a US warship entered waters close to disputed islands.
The Chinese language army mentioned it “warned off” a US destroyer that “illegally” entered its territorial waters close to the Xisha Islands, often known as the Paracels, on Saturday.
The Individuals’s Liberation Military Southern Theatre Command mentioned it responded by mobilising naval and air forces to “observe and monitor” the US vessel within the waters, that are claimed by Beijing, Hanoi and Taipei.

“The intense violation of China’s sovereignty and safety by the US is additional iron proof that it’s pursuing ‘navigation hegemony’ and creating ‘militarisation of the South China Sea’,” command spokesman Tian Junli mentioned.

“It absolutely proves that the US is an out-and-out ‘safety threat creator of the South China Sea’, and the ‘largest disrupter’ of peace and stability within the South China Sea.

“Troops within the theatre stay on excessive alert always and resolutely safeguard nationwide sovereignty and safety and peace and stability within the South China Sea.”

South China Sea sees flurry of exercise from PLA, US and Philippines

The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet confirmed that the USS Hopper guided missile destroyer sailed close to the Paracel Islands underneath “worldwide regulation”, saying its operation was common and protected.

“US forces function within the South China Sea each day, as they’ve for greater than a century. They routinely function in shut coordination with like-minded allies and companions that share our dedication to uphold a free and open worldwide order that promotes safety and prosperity,” the Seventh Fleet mentioned.

“All of our operations are carried out safely, professionally, and in accordance with customary worldwide regulation. The operations reveal that the US will fly, sail, and function wherever worldwide regulation permits – whatever the location of extreme maritime claims and no matter present occasions.”

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Beijing and Manila commerce blame over ‘provocative’ strikes with ship collisions close to disputed shoal

Beijing and Manila commerce blame over ‘provocative’ strikes with ship collisions close to disputed shoal

The operation got here as the US and the Philippines wrapped up three days of joint patrols close to Taiwan, prompting sturdy condemnation from Beijing, which additionally organised live-fire drills within the space final week.

The encounter close to the Paracels was the primary within the space between the US and China for the reason that presidents of the 2 international locations met in San Francisco in a broader effort to handle rising tensions between the 2 powers.

The summit between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden on November 15 yielded agreements to renew top-level military-to-military communications, together with phone communications between theatre instructions.

The US has been normalising army actions within the South China Sea, typically conserving Beijing on excessive alert and infrequently leading to harmful encounters.

Final month, a Chinese language J-11 fighter jet got here inside three metres (10 toes) of a US B-52 strategic bomber over the South China Sea, nearly inflicting a “collision”, in accordance with the US army.

The US has additionally teamed up with its Indo-Pacific allies for joint army operations to sort out what it calls an “more and more assertive” Beijing within the area.

The Saturday operation by the USS Hopper coincided with the beginning of three days of joint patrols by Australia and the Philippines within the South China Sea.

Manila has been on the forefront of tensions with Beijing within the contested waters, and encounters between the 2 have elevated close to disputed islands such because the Second Thomas Shoal and Scarborough Shoal.

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