A US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sailed next to a disputed shoal in the South China Sea to challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims.
US warships keep ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing to stay clear of the region amid rising tensions between the two economic superpowers.
On Sunday, the USS Preble (DDG-88), armed with Tomahawk missiles, sailed along the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in order to “challenge” the Asian claim to the area.
Washington has repeatedly refused to acquiesce to Chinese protests over its incursions into the sea, citing the principle of “Freedom of Navigation.”
The USS Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, stated.
Sunday’s incident marks the second such US intrusion into the South China Sea this month. On May 6, the USS Chung-Hoon sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands, triggering a strong response from China.
Washington’s daring actions followed last week’s Chinese announcement that it will impose tariffs of up to 25% on $60 billion worth of American products, in retaliation for Trump’s levies on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
What India and Singapore are doing in the South China Sea surprises everyone.
The Preble’s journey into the disputed waterway also coincided with bilateral naval drills being held in the South China Sea by the Indian and Singaporean Navies.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.