fredag 29. mai 2020

US warship again challenges China's South China Sea claims

The US Navy once again challenged Chinese claims in the South China Sea Thursday, sailing the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin near the Paracel Islands. The US Navy has twice sailed warships in a similar effort to challenge Chinese claims to the Paracel and Spratly islands in the last month and carrying out another such operation near the Paracels in March.

The increased operational tempo comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing on a range of issues including the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to exert greater control over Hong Kong and responsibility for the coronavirus. "On May 28 (local time), USS Mustin (DDG 89) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law," Lt. Anthony Junco, a spokesperson for the US Navy's 7th Fleet, said in a statement. "By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are beyond what China can lawfully claim as its territorial sea," the statement added.