China is claiming one or our Destroyers sailed through their waters. They are also making the bold claim that their warning caused our ship to turn tail and run away. But our Navy tells a far different story.
“Col. Tian Junli, a spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command, said Chinese forces “tracked, monitored and expelled” USS Benfold after the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operated near the Paracel Islands “without the approval of the Chinese government.”
“We solemnly demand that the U.S. side immediately stop such provocative actions, otherwise it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen events,” it added.
The U.S. Navy rejected the idea that the Benfold was warned away but appeared to confirm the ship was operating in the area, saying the mission reflected the U.S. Navy’s commitment to defend freedom of navigation.
“The PRC’s statement about this mission is false,” 7th Fleet spokesman Mark Langford said in a statement. The 7th Fleet is part of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific force.
The Benfold was conducting what the navy called a freedom of navigation operation “in accordance with international law,” the statement said. The ship then “continued on to conduct normal operations in international waters.”
“US 7th Fleet added: “This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging restrictions on innocent passage imposed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, and Vietnam and also by challenging the PRC’s claim to straight baselines enclosing the Paracel Islands.”
The entry of US warships in the South China Sea has increased in recent years.”
Geez everyone is itching for a fight with Biden in office. China has been trying to claim more area around them by making these fake islands. They find shallow points or shoals and are building islands on top of them, adding a whole bunch of dirt and whatever else is needed, and then claiming the 50 miles around it as theirs. The thing is this newly created territory is not accepted internationally. So when we cruise around these areas China is getting offended and is trying to make a mountain out of (in this case) a sandbar…