US sails warship previous contested islands in South China Sea, drawing protest from China

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The “USS Chancellorsville sailed close to the Paracel islands to problem extreme maritime claims and protect entry to the waterways as ruled by worldwide regulation,” US Navy Cdr. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for US Pacific Fleet advised CNN in an announcement.

The US warship performed what’s known as a “Freedom of Navigation Operation” within the neighborhood of the Paracel Islands to problem claims made by China, Christensen added.

A US official stated that the Chancellorsville was shadowed by a Chinese language vessel in the course of the operation however that each one interactions had been deemed protected {and professional}.

US officers say the operations are supposed to implement the precise of free passage in worldwide waters.

“US Forces function within the Indo-Pacific area each day, together with the South China Sea. All operations are designed in accordance with worldwide regulation and reveal that the US will fly, sail and function wherever worldwide regulation permits,” Christensen stated.

Whereas the US Navy conducts such freedom of navigation operations everywhere in the world, China is especially delicate concerning the operations after they come close to areas the place the Chinese language authorities has constructed islands and established navy services on disputed maritime options.

Two officers advised CNN that China issued a proper diplomatic protest, generally known as a demarche, following Monday’s operation.

In late September, the usDecatur sailed inside 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs within the Spratly Islands as a part of an identical freedom of navigation operation.

US Navy sails ships through Taiwan Strait

Throughout that operation, a Chinese language destroyer got here inside 45 yards of the US warship, forcing it to maneuver to keep away from a collision. The US labeled the Chinese language warship’s actions unsafe and unprofessional, whereas Beijing stated the US was threatening the security and sovereignty of China.

The US Navy has had 18 such unsafe or unprofessional encounters with Chinese language navy forces within the Pacific since 2016, in accordance with US navy statistics obtained by CNN.
The US has criticized Beijing over what it sees as China’s militarization of the South China Sea. On Wednesday, the US Navy additionally sailed two ships through the Taiwan Strait.

The roughly 110-mile-wide strait separates the Individuals’s Republic of China and Taiwan and is seen as a possible geopolitical flashpoint ought to Beijing ever search to take the island of Taiwan by power.

Whereas the strait constitutes worldwide waters, China is considered very delicate concerning the presence of US navy forces within the space.

Two US officers beforehand advised CNN that Chinese language naval vessels adopted the US ships in the course of the transit and that each one interactions with the Chinese language had been deemed protected {and professional}.



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