China accuses the US of raising tensions

04 December, 2023

China accuses the US of raising tensions

The United States is “creating tensions” in the South China Sea by allowing a US warship to travel through shipping lanes claimed by Beijing, China claims.

The battleship USS Gabrielle Giffords. Archive image. Photo: Brynn Anderson

“On December 4, the battleship USS Gabrielle Giffords illegally entered the waters adjacent to the Renai Jiao in China’s Nansha region without the permission of the Chinese government,” according to Tian Junli, a spokesperson for China’s military, in a statement.

Second Thomas Shoa – which China calls Renai Jiao – is an atoll located about 20 miles from the Philippine island of Palawan – and over 1,000 miles from China’s nearest major landmass, Hainan Island.

According to Tian, the Chinese army is following “the entire operation”, adding that “deliberately creating tension in the South China Sea is a serious violation of China’s sovereignty and the security of the United States”.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim parts of the trade-dense waters.

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in 2016 that China’s claims in the South China Sea lacked legal and historical basis, China dismissed the ruling.

Since World War II, the United States has had strong interests in the South China Sea and a military presence there.

Text: TT/Nyhetsbyrån
Photo: Brynn Anderson

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