BEIJING: China’s military said it “drove away” a US warship that illegally entered Chinese waters near the Paracel Islands on Monday (Jul 12), the anniversary of an international court ruling that Beijing has no claim over the South China Sea.
The USS Benfold entered the waters of the Paracels without the approval of the Chinese government, seriously violating China’s sovereignty and undermining the stability of the South China Sea, the People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theatre Command said.
“We urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative actions,” the Southern Theatre Command said in a statement.
Separately, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday at a regular briefing that the United States was harming peace and stability in the region. China urges Washington to stop “stirring up trouble” in the South China Sea, he said.