Beijing, May 20 (EFE) – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said on Thursday that it chased away a United States warship equipped with guided missiles from the waters near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
Colonel Tian Junli, a spokesperson at the PLA Southern Theater Command, in a statement, said the USS Curtis Wilbur entered the waters near the islands called Xisha in China without seeking permission.
He said the move prompted the deployment of Chinese ships and planes in warning the US vessel to leave.
The spokesperson described the incident as a ploy by the US to exercise navigational hegemony.
He said the move seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security and undermined the peace and stability of the South China Sea.
He warned that such “irresponsible acts” only increase risks, miscalculations, and accidents at sea.
Tian slammed the US for creating problems in the South China Sea.
He said Chinese troops were always alert to respond to such incursions.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, which serves as a passage for 30 percent of the global trade and is home to 12 percent of the worldwide fish resources, apart from housing oil and gas reserves.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire area. EFE