tirsdag 29. november 2022

US and China in first South China Sea encounter since Xi-Biden meeting

The United States and Chinese militaries exchanged harsh words Tuesday after a US Navy warship performed the first freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea since the leaders of the two powers met earlier this month in an attempt to ease tensions.

In a statement, the Chinese military claimed the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, “illegally entered the waters near China’s Nansha Islands and reefs without the approval of the Chinese government.” The move, according to China, shows the “US is a true producer of security risks in the South China Sea.” A statement from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet later Tuesday called the PLA’s account “false” and a continued misrepresentation of US actions in the South China Sea.

The encounter is the first in the South China Sea since US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in person on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia two weeks ago, according to a US Navy spokesperson.