China frets as US ship enters disputed waters

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
The Chinese Navy today had its first major face-off with a US warship after it ignored Beijing’s warning and sailed close to artificial islands China is building in the disputed South China Sea, prompting China to denounce the incident as a “threat” to its sovereignty.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed “strong discontent” and “resolute opposition” over a US warship patrol near “Zhubi (Subi) Reef”, which is part of “Nansha” Islands in the South China Sea also known as Spratly Islands, claimed by China.
China’s angry reaction came after Pentagon said USS Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island Beijing is building in the Spratly Islands without the permission of the Chinese government.
“This action by the US threatens China’s sovereignty and security interests, endangers the safety of personnel and facilities in the reef, and harms regional peace and stability,” ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a media briefing here.
The US warship was monitored, tracked and issued with warning, Lu said declining to provide details of how many Chinese vessels were involved in the face-off with the US destroyer, the first after US asserted that its naval ships and planes will sail and fly through the South China Sea to assert freedom of navigation.
“Make no mistake, the US will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do around the world, and the South China Sea will not be an exception,” US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has warned during his recent Australia tour.
China claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, which transit some of the busiest sea lanes in the world and is believed to sit atop a vast amount of oil wealth.
These are disputed waters only because of China as it claims whole of the south china sea without having any strong base.