The United States sent a destroyer to the disputed waters in the South China Sea

The destroyer USS Benfold sails in the Pacific Ocean (US Navy)

The United States sent a destroyer into the disputed waters on Sunday Paracelsus IslandsIn the South China Sea, in a navigational operation that angered Beijing, whose military authorities allegedly chased the ship.

The US Navy, in a statement issued by the Public Affairs Office of the Seventh Fleet, dismissed the Chinese statement as false, but did not give details about a possible confrontation with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army forces.

The USS Penfold carried out the operation “in accordance with international law and then continued to conduct its normal operations in international waters”.According to the statement. The Navy added that the Chinese statement was “the latest in a long line of actions taken by China to misrepresent the United States’ legal naval operations and enforce its excessive and unlawful maritime claims.”

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei claim parts of this strategic sea through which 30% of global trade is traded, as well as hosting oil and gas fields, while China claims sovereignty over all of these waters.

Disputed Islands Paracelsus (EFE)
Disputed Islands Paracelsus (EFE)

“By carrying out this process, the United States has demonstrated that these waters are beyond what China can legally claim to be its territorial sea, and that the straight baselines that China claims around the Paracelsus Islands are inconsistent with international law.” The US Navy said.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned China of its “threats” to the Philippines and He reiterated that any “armed attack” would activate the defense commitments between the two countries.

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In a statement issued by the North American country’s foreign ministry, he stressed that “there is no place where the international rules-based maritime system is more threatened than in the South China Sea” because “China continues to coerce and intimidate” Southeast Asian countries.

The message was also released on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in which the Philippines agreed in its maritime dispute with China and decided that the latter had no “historic” right to uphold it. To claim certain areas of the South Sea.

finally, Blinken called on China to “comply with its obligations under international law”. And stop your provocative behavior.”

Hours later, the Chinese military released its version of the American ship raid. According to a statement posted on the official account of the Southern Theater Command of Operations on the social network WeChat, USS Benfold “entered Chinese territorial waters without the permission of the Chinese government.”

Command spokesman Tian Junli said in the statement that the People’s Liberation Army sent a warning to the destroyer and its navy followed suit.

The statement said the destroyer’s behavior “is a violation of Chinese sovereignty, undermines peace and stability in the South China Sea, and violates the basic principles of international law and relations,” which also accused the United States of being the real destabilizing force. in the region.

(With information from AP, Europa Press and Reuters)

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