International

China protests latest U.S. Navy mission in South China Sea

Destroyer John S. McCain  

China said it dispatched ships and planes to track the U.S. guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain as it passed near Chinese-held islands in the South China Sea.

The People’s Liberation Army accused the U.S. warship of trespassing into Chinese territorial waters on Friday near the Paracel Islands — called Xisha by China — during the latest freedom of navigation missions by the U.S. Navy aimed at defying China’s vast claims in the strategic waterway.

Spokesperson for the PLA’s Southern Theater Command Colonel Zhang Nandong said Beijing demanded the U.S. end such actions, calling them “blatant navigation hegemony and military provocation” that “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security interests, and gravely jeopardized peace and stability in the South China Sea.”

“We urges the U.S. side to immediately stop such kind of provocative actions, strictly manage and control its maritime and air military operations so as not to cause any eventuality”, Mr. Zhang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Counter claims

China claims sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea, which is also claimed in whole or in part by Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Frictions between China and Indonesia have also increased over activities by China’s fishing vessels, the Coast Guard and Navy within Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.

China ignored a 2016 arbitration ruling that invalidated most of its claims in the South China Sea.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:27:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-protests-latest-us-navy-mission-in-south-china-sea/article32822665.ece

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