U.S. Navy Provokes Beijing in South China Sea Again
May 6, 2019 (EIRNS)—Two U.S. Navy destroyers, the USS Preble and the USS Chung Hoon, conducted another “freedom of navigation operation” in the South China Sea early today. A U.S. military spokesman told Reuters that the two ships sailed within 12 miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands. Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, said the “innocent passage” was aimed “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law.”
At his briefing today, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the U.S. ships entered the waters near the islets without the Chinese government’s permission, and the Chinese Navy warned them to leave. “The trespass of U.S. warships is a violation of China’s sovereignty,” Geng said. “It undermines peace, security and good order in the relevant waters. China deplores and firmly opposes such moves.
“With the concerted efforts of China and ASEAN states, the situation in the South China Sea is steadily improving. Under the current circumstances, China urges the U.S. to stop such provocations, respect China’s sovereignty and security interests and regional countries’ efforts to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea,”
Geng continued. “China will continue to take all necessary measures to defend national sovereignty and security, and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.”