The Chinese Army has claimed it forced a U.S. warship out of the very contested South China Sea, The AP reported.
The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) air and naval forces chased the U.S.S. Benfold after the U.S. destroyer went into an area claimed by China located between Vietnam and the Philippines, Beijing said this Monday, according to the AP. The forces “warned and pushed” the American ship away, the PLA claimed.
“The US action goes against international law and usual norms of relations, which is yet more proof that the U.S. has been pushing for navigation hegemony and pushing for militarization of the South China Sea,” PLA spokesman said in a comment. “Facts have proven that the United States is in every way a ‘security risk creator in the South China Sea.’”
But the U.S. Navy argued against the Chinese army’s version of events and denied that they were ever forced to leave, the AP said. It added that the Benfold has completed its operation “in line with international law” and within international waters.
“The PLA comment is the latest in a long line of Chinese actions to lie about lawful U.S. operations and assert its illegitimate claims,” the Navy responded.
Meanwhile, this Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken marked the anniversary of a global tribunal’s ruling that said China’s claim to the South China Sea was not legal. Blinken said that China keeps “coercing and intimidating” southeast Asian countries in the disputed seas.
“This is very irresponsible,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said to reporters. “China is very dissatisfied with and greatly opposed to the wrong actions by the United States.”
“China’s interests, sovereignty and rights in the South China Sea have been created in the course of our long history,” he said. “They are supported by great legal and historical basis and protected by the Chinese government.”
Biden has issued no direct response to Chinese aggression in the area. His Administration has been criticized for being too soft on China, with many Republicans saying that China helped Biden win (or steal) the 2020 election from former President Trump.
Author: Scott Dowdy