Chinese language naval and air property joined forces to ‘expel’ the destroyer USS John S. McCain from the disputed islands within the South China Sea, Beijing introduced. The US Navy claimed it was on one other ‘freedom of navigation’ cruise.
The Individuals’s Liberation Military “expelled US destroyer USS John S. McCain after it trespassed into China’s territorial waters off Nansha Islands within the South China Sea,” Colonel Tian Junli, spokesman for the PLA Southern Theatre Command, mentioned in a press release on Tuesday.
The PLA “opposes US actions which endanger China’s sovereignty and safety, in addition to peace within the South China Sea,” the colonel mentioned, including that the Chinese language navy stays “on excessive alert.”
Nansha is the identify China gave to the Spratly Islands, an archipelago of small islands and underwater reefs that a number of nations lay a declare to. Beijing has constructed man-made islands on a number of of the reefs and constructed navy amenities to bolster its territorial claims.
The US Navy confirmed the guided missile destroyer’s presence within the space, however clearly had a really totally different narrative in regards to the occasions. The McCain“steamed” previous the disputed islands “in one other demonstration of freedom of maritime navigation,” mentioned a spokesman for the seventh Fleet, based mostly in Yokosuka, Japan.
The McCain didn’t search permission for the transfer or give warning, with a purpose to “exhibit that harmless passage might not be topic to such restrictions,” mentioned Lieutenant Joe Keiley, who added that “all interactions with overseas navy forces have been per worldwide norms and didn’t affect the operation.”
Final month, the McCain made an identical enterprise into Russian waters off the coast of Vladivostok, additionally within the guise of “freedom of navigation” operations (FONOP). The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer retreated after being warned by the Russian Udaloy-class destroyer Admiral Vinogradov of the “potential of resorting to ramming to power the trespasser out of the territory.”
The McCain was infamously rammed by a cargo ship off the coast of Singapore in August 2017. Ten troopers died within the incident, which the US Navy has since blamed on tools issues and lack of coaching. The ship had simply returned from a FONOP within the South China Sea.
Commissioned in 1994, the McCain is called after the late US Senator John Sidney McCain III (R-Arizona) and his father and grandfather, each Navy admirals.
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