China claims it ‘drove away’ U.S. warship in South China Sea

China’s military services stated it “drove away” a U.S. warship that illegally entered Chinese waters close to the Paracel Islands Monday, the anniversary of an global courtroom ruling that held Beijing had no claim over the South China Sea.

The USS Benfold entered the waters without China’s acceptance, very seriously violating its sovereignty and undermining the stability of the South China Sea, the southern theater command of the People’s Liberation Military mentioned.

“We urge the United States to instantly prevent this sort of provocative actions,” it explained in a statement.

On July 12, 2016, the Long lasting Courtroom of Arbitration in the Hague dominated that China had no historic title in excess of the South China Sea, a ruling that China mentioned it would dismiss.

The Benfold asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands steady with global law, the U.S. Navy claimed in a assertion on Monday.

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The islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, which demand possibly permission or advance notification right before a armed forces vessel passes as a result of.

“Below intercontinental legislation as mirrored in the Legislation of the Sea Convention, the ships of all states, including their warships,- enjoy the suitable of harmless passage through the territorial sea,” the U.S. Navy added.

“By engaging in harmless passage without the need of supplying prior notification to or asking authorization from any of the claimants, the United States challenged these unlawful restrictions imposed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.”

An aerial perspective of the Paracel Islands, in South China Sea.Wang hu / Imaginechina/AP file

Hundreds of other islands, reefs and atolls in the resource-wealthy waterway are contested by Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines, with China professing legal rights to methods in just its so-known as 9-dash line, or most of the region.

“By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are over and above what China can lawfully assert as its territorial sea, and that China’s claimed straight baselines close to the Paracel Islands are inconsistent with international regulation,” the U.S. Navy explained.

In its 2016 ruling, the Hague court docket also claimed China experienced interfered with standard Philippine fishing legal rights at Scarborough Shoal and breached the country’s sovereign legal rights by checking out for oil and fuel near the Reed Bank.

Independence of the seas was an “enduring” curiosity of all nations, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned on Sunday.

“Nowhere is the policies-centered maritime purchase less than larger risk than in the South China Sea,” Blinken explained in a assertion.

“The People’s Republic of China proceeds to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening independence of navigation in this essential global throughway.”

Amelia J. Bell

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