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US Navy destroyer expelled by China for trespassing near Xisha Islands

USS Milius, Destroyer, United States Navy, South China Sea, US Navy, China, South China Sea, territorial waters, Xisha Islands
Mirror7
US Navy destroyer expelled by China for trespassing near Xisha Islands

US Navy destroyer expelled by China for trespassing near Xisha Islands

On March 24, 2023, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Milius, sailed near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, prompting a strong response from China. The Chinese government claimed that the destroyer was trespassing in its territorial waters and expelled it from the area. This incident marks the latest in a series of clashes between the US and China over the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

China's response to the USS Milius

According to China's Foreign Ministry, the USS Milius "trespassed" in Chinese waters near the Xisha Islands without permission. In response, China deployed its naval vessels and aircraft to "identify and warn off" the US destroyer. The Chinese government accused the US of "provocative actions" that threatened its sovereignty and security.

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The US, on the other hand, denied China's claims of trespassing, stating that the USS Milius was conducting routine operations in international waters. The US Navy's Seventh Fleet, which oversees operations in the western Pacific, said in a statement that the USS Milius "asserted navigational rights and freedoms" near the Xisha Islands in accordance with international law.

The ongoing US-China tensions in the South China Sea

The South China Sea is a critical maritime region that is home to some of the world's busiest shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds, and vast oil and gas reserves. However, it is also a hotly contested area, with several countries, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, claiming sovereignty over various islands, reefs, and shoals.

The US has been conducting freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the South China Sea to challenge China's territorial claims and assert its right to operate in international waters. China has repeatedly criticized these FONOPs as provocative and destabilizing actions that threaten its security.

In recent years, tensions between the US and China over the South China Sea have escalated, with both sides accusing each other of militarizing the region. The US has been increasing its military presence in the area, deploying more warships and aircraft, while China has built and fortified artificial islands and constructed military facilities on them.

The incident involving the USS Milius and the Xisha Islands is the latest example of the ongoing tensions between the US and China over the South China Sea. While the US maintains that it was operating in international waters, China claims that the destroyer was trespassing in its territorial waters. As the two superpowers continue to assert their respective interests in the region, the risk of a military confrontation looms large.

Keywords: US Navy, China, South China Sea, territorial waters, Xisha Islands, freedom of navigation operations, military confrontation.

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