Beijing, Nov 29 (EFE).- The Chinese army confirmed having issued a warning to US cruiser USS Chancellorsville on Tuesday after it passed through waters near Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Beijing is involved in a dispute over the area with several Southeast Asian countries, while the US claims it can navigate the area under international law.
According to Tian Junli, spokesperson for the Southern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army, the cruiser’s “illegal” intrusion was not permitted by the Chinese government.
He added that the US has violated China’s sovereignty and security, once again proving that it was militarizing the area.
On the other hand, the US Navy defended in a statement its freedom to sail wherever international law permits.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei claim parts of the South China Sea, through which 30 percent of global trade passes.
The area also has rich petroleum and gas deposits, and China claims total sovereignty over these waters.
Tensions in the region have increased in recent years with altercations, cross accusations between disputing countries and China’s increased military presence in the area.
Washington accuses Beijing of coercing and intimidating neighboring countries and termed China’s territorial claims as illegal, while placing emphasis on The Hague ruling in favor of the Philippines in 2016 over a disputed atoll in the South China Sea. EFE