China Says US Navy Ship ‘Illegally Intruded’ into South China Sea

Mon Dec 04 2023
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BEIJING: On Monday, the Chinese military reported that a US naval vessel had “illegally intruded” into waters close to the Second Thomas Shoal, a highly contested area between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

According to a statement from the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater, a Chinese naval force was deployed to monitor the USS Gabrielle Giffords during the operation, while the U.S. Navy refrained from an immediate response to a comment request.

Additionally, ongoing confrontations between Chinese and Philippine naval and coast guard vessels near the Second Thomas Shoal have persisted in recent months. China’s aim to hinder the Philippines from resupplying and repairing a warship intentionally grounded in 1999 for use as a military outpost remains a focal point of these encounters.

The Philippines, facing China’s overwhelming military dominance, sought aid from the United States, expanding its military presence earlier this year and initiating joint sea and air patrols. In response, China accused the U.S. of interference far from its borders, condemning the USS Giffords’ passage near Second Thomas Shoal as an act that disrupted regional peace.

China maintains claims over most South China Sea features, constructing islands with military potential, while other nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei, contest these claims, leading to a tangled dispute over territorial ownership in the region.



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