South China Sea

China, US Navy in row over guided-missile destroyer in South China Sea

Reuters

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China, US Navy in row over guided-missile destroyer in South China Sea

US WARSHIP. A file photo of the guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) taken on May 20, 2003.

US Navy

The US Navy says the guided-missile destroyer was asserting its navigational rights and freedoms

BEIJING, China – China’s defense ministry said on Friday, March 24, that it yet again had to monitor and drive away the US Navy destroyer USS Milius that entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands.

“We sternly demand the US to immediately stop such provocative acts, otherwise it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen incidents,” a spokesperson said in a statement from the Ministry of National Defense.

The US Navy said the guided-missile destroyer was asserting its navigational rights and freedoms.

“Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations,” the US Navy 7th fleet said in an emailed statement.

US forces operate in the South China Sea on a daily basis, the US Navy said.

It was the second straight day of a stand-off between the two super powers amid growing tensions in the South China Sea.

China claims vast swathes of the area that overlap with exclusive economic zones of various countries including the Philippines. Trillions of dollars in trade flow every year through the waterway.

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