24th March 2023 – (Beijing) The Chinese military has once again monitored and warned off a U.S. guided-missile destroyer, the USS Milius, for trespassing into Chinese territorial waters off the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea. Spokesperson for China’s Defence Ministry, Tan Kefei, stated that the U.S. has seriously infringed upon China’s national sovereignty and security. This comes one day after Senior Colonel Tian Junli, the spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theatre Command, also criticised a similar move by the U.S. destroyer.
Tan Kefei has demanded that the U.S. immediately stop such provocative actions and warned that they will face serious consequences if they continue. The PLA has pledged to take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security, and the peace and stability of the region.
The tension between China and the U.S. has been rising for years over the disputed territory in the South China Sea. China claims almost the entire sea as its own, but several other countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, have overlapping claims. The U.S. has been conducting freedom of navigation operations in the region, which China considers to be a violation of its sovereignty.
The U.S. has accused China of militarising the South China Sea by building artificial islands and installing military facilities on them. However, China has argued that it has every right to defend its territorial sovereignty and that the U.S. is trying to contain its rise as a global power.
The Chinese military has been increasingly assertive in the South China Sea in recent years, with regular patrols and military exercises in the area. This has led to several incidents with the U.S. military, including a near-collision between a U.S. Navy ship and a Chinese destroyer in 2018.
The U.S. has also been working to strengthen its military alliances in the region, including with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. The U.S. has conducted joint military exercises with these countries in the South China Sea and has been providing military aid to help them strengthen their own defenses.
The situation in the South China Sea is likely to remain tense in the coming years as both China and the U.S. continue to assert their interests in the region. It remains to be seen whether the two countries can find a way to peacefully resolve their differences or whether tensions will escalate further.