Chinese military forces US warship out of South China Sea: REPORT

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army said it forced a US warship out of the hotly contested South China Sea, The Associated Press reported.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) naval and air forces pursued the USS Benfold after the US destroyer entered an area claimed by the Chinese between the Philippines and Vietnam, Beijing said on Monday. according to at the Associated Press. The forces “warned and pushed back” the US ship, the PLA said.

“The action of the United States seriously goes against international law and fundamental norms governing international relations, which is further proof that the United States continues the hegemony of navigation and creates a militarization of the South China Sea, ”said PLA spokesman Colonel Tian Junli. a declaration. “The facts have proven that the United States is in every way a ‘security risk maker in the South China Sea’.

But the US Navy disputed the Chinese military’s version of events and denied that its ship was ever forced to leave the area, the AP reported. He added that the Benfold conducted its operation “in accordance with international law” and in international waters. (RELATED: Pentagon Official: China Developing Space Weapons)

Chinese warships attached to a destroyer flotilla under the command of the PLA South Theater are conducting a training exercise in the South China Sea. (China Military Online / Li Wei)

“[The PLA statement is] the latest in a long series of [Chinese] actions to distort lawful US maritime operations and to assert its excessive and illegitimate maritime claims, ”the Navy said.

On Sunday, meanwhile, State Secretary Antony Blinken famous the fifth anniversary of an international tribunal ruling that said Beijing’s claim to the South China Sea was illegal. Blinken noted that China continues to “coerce and intimidate” the coastal nations of Southeast Asia in the disputed sea.

“It is extremely irresponsible,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Recount journalists Monday. “China is strongly dissatisfied and strongly opposed to the bad act of the American side. “

“China’s sovereignty, rights and interests in the South China Sea have been formed over a long history,” he continued. “They are backed by an abundant historical and legal basis and backed by the Chinese government from the start. “

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