Monday, October 22, 2018
Close  
  • share this

China slams ‘provocative’ US sail-by in South China Sea

/ 02:11 PM October 22, 2016
This image provided by the U.S. Navy, taken Oct. 17, 2016, shows the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur, right, pulling into position behind the Military Sealift Command USNS Matthew Perry, during a replenishment-at-sea, seen from the bridge of the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance, in the South China Sea. The Defense Department says a U.S. Navy warship has conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, where China and five other countries have competing territorial claims. A department spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said the destroyer ship USS Decatur conducted the transit operation Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, near the Paracel Islands. (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Will Gaskill via AP)

This image provided by the U.S. Navy, taken Oct. 17, 2016, shows the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur, right, pulling into position behind the Military Sealift Command USNS Matthew Perry, during a replenishment-at-sea, seen from the bridge of the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance, in the South China Sea. The Defense Department says a U.S. Navy warship has conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, where China and five other countries have competing territorial claims. A department spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said the destroyer ship USS Decatur conducted the transit operation Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, near the Paracel Islands. (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Will Gaskill via AP)

BEIJING—China has slammed the US for sailing a warship near disputed territory in the South China Sea, saying the move was a “serious illegal act” and “deliberately provocative”.

In a statement on its website late Friday night, the country’s defense ministry said two Chinese naval vessels warned off a US ship after it entered “Chinese territorial waters” near the Paracel Islands, known as Xisha in Chinese.

ADVERTISEMENT

China controls all of the islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

The ship’s “entrance into China’s territorial waters is a serious illegal act and a deliberately provocative act,” it said, adding that the ministry had made “solemn representations” to Washington.

FEATURED STORIES

In a separate online statement, the foreign ministry said the action had “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security interests, and had seriously broken relevant Chinese law and international law.”

The Pentagon said Friday it had sent the destroyer USS Decatur close to the Paracel Islands, but that the ship had not passed within the 12 nautical mile zone that international law defines as territorial waters.

The ships transited the area in “a routine, lawful manner without ship escorts and without incident,” a spokesman said.

The maneuver was the third South China Sea “freedom of navigation” operation conducted this year by the US, which has repeatedly stressed it will ignore China’s “excessive” maritime claims.

Friday’s operation was the first since a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in July ruled there was no legal basis to China’s claims to nearly all of the sea — a verdict Beijing dismissed vehemently.

China that month held a week of military drills around the Paracels in the northern part of the South China Sea, during which other ships were prohibited from entering the waters.

Several other nations across the region including the Philippines and Vietnam have rival claims to various parts of the South China Sea.

ADVERTISEMENT

The US action came as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wrapped up a four-day state visit to China, where he pledged to increase cooperation with Beijing, while at the same time slamming his country’s long-time ally Washington.

In a joint statement at the end of his trip, the Chinese and Philippine leaders pledged to resume talks over their own territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

RELATED STORIES

Duterte announces military, economic split with US

US one with allies in upholding rights over South China Sea—Kerry

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, freedom of navigation, Philippines, South China Sea, United States
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.