South China Sea Tensions Escalate, Risk ‘Involving More and More Countries’

Saturday, August 12, 2017
By Paul Martin

China accused the United States of breaching its sovereignty and international law norms after an American warship came close to the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea. Beijing claims the islands to be part of its territory.

“The USS John S. McCain entered the neighboring waters of relevant islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Qundao without the permission of the Chinese government. … The relevant acts of the US warship violated Chinese laws and international law, severely undermined China’s sovereignty and security,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a statement.

On August 10, a US guided missile destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, sailed within 6 miles of the man-made Mischief Reef in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, during a “freedom of navigation exercise” in the disputed region.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, such actions do not contribute to sustaining stability in the region, being the “biggest factor in the ‘militarization’ of the South China Sea.”

“China has been unswervingly determined to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea. The provocation by the US side has compelled the Chinese side to take measures to further enhance its capability to defend its territory,” the spokesperson added.

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