China accuses the American destroyer Benfold of invading its territorial waters. This was stated by the official representative of the Southern Zone of the Combat Command of the People’s Liberation Army of China, Tian Junli, his words are quoted by China News.
According to Tian Junli, the American warship violated the maritime borders of China and entered the waters of the disputed Paracel Islands (Xisha in Chinese). The Chinese air and naval forces escorted the destroyer and “pushed” it out of the archipelago’s waters.
The military said that the US armed forces are undermining peace and stability in the South China Sea, violating international law and encroaching on China’s sovereignty and security. “We strongly condemn and oppose this and call on the American side to immediately stop such provocative actions and strictly control naval and air activities. Otherwise, the responsibility for all the consequences arising from this will be borne by the American side, ” Tian Junli stressed.
The islands in the South China Sea are the subject of a territorial dispute between China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam. The most tense situation is around the Scarborough Reef and the Spratly Archipelago, which is considered to be rich in oil and gas. Approximately 40 percent of world trade traffic passes through the South China Sea and up to 80 percent of Chinese oil and gas imports are transported.