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China on US warship’s presence in disputed SCS

Violated sovereignty: China on US warship’s presence in disputed SCS

3 min read

China has slammed US over its warship’s alleged ‘entry’ into disputed South China Sea

China on Monday slammed the United States (US) after an American warship—USS Gabrielle Giffords—allegedly entered the disputed South China Sea near the Second Thomas Shoal.

China’s Southern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army claimed the US vessel’s presence “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security,” per South China Morning Post.

However, the US authorities reportedly denied any violation, claiming that it “was conducting routine operations in international waters” as per international law.

Why does this story matter?

This came a day after the Philippines reportedly deployed its vessels in the South China Sea to counter the increase in China’s maritime militia vessels there.

Notably, ties between China and the US deteriorated over the past year as both countries continued to engage in a tug-of-war over geopolitical dominance.

Their disagreements range from Taiwan sovereignty, US President Joe Biden’s ban on semiconductor exports, China’s alleged surveillance from Cuba, and alleged Chinese spy balloons entering the US territory.

US deliberately disrupted South China Sea: China

A spokesperson of China’s Southern Theater Command stated, “The United States has deliberately disrupted the South China Sea, seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security.”

It also claimed the alleged action “severely undermined regional peace and stability” and violated “basic norms governing international relations.”

Such an incident in the South China Sea could potentially escalate into conflict, per Bloomberg.

This comes as Beijing was yet to name its new defense secretary for policy-level negotiations with the US, after dismissing Li Shangfu.

US denies violation of international maritime law

Responding to China’s allegations, Commander Megan Greene of the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet reportedly claimed the USS Gabrielle Giffords “was conducting routine operations in international waters” under international law.

She stressed the US’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region where nations can resolve disputes without coercion and enjoy the freedom to navigate and fly in line with international laws and norms.

Greene also stated the US would continue to work with its regional allies and partners undeterred.

Tensions persist despite recent Biden-Jinping meeting

Last month, Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held bilateral talks in San Francisco, described as “constructive and productive.”

The US also claimed that China agreed to policy-level talks with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

However, despite improved relations after the Biden-Jinping meeting, tensions over purported actions in the South China Sea persist.

Top-level military ties remained strained since former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August 2022, leading to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army conducting unprecedented military drills.

Know about South China Sea

The South China Sea is a Western Pacific Ocean marginal sea considered part of an important international trade route.

It is bordered by South China in the north, the Indo-Chinese Peninsula in the west, Taiwan and the northern Philippines in the east, and the Indonesian islands in the south.

The Taiwan Strait connects it to the East China Sea, while the Luzon Strait connects it to the Philippine Sea.

Recently, it witnessed several maritime disputes between China and the Philippines.

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