The US Navy is systematically intruding the Chinese Economic Zone in the South China Sea. This time around a Chinese destroyer was deployed to escort the USS Decatur out of troubled waters.
The encounter between the USA and Chinese Navies unfolded when Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, sailing under the ‘freedom of navigation’ principle, approached close to one of the Gaven Reefs in the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
In response, China dispatched a Luyang-class destroyer to escort the American warship away from the disputed area, allegedly behaving in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner, according to the US version of events.
China’s Defense Ministry slammed the USA for abusing the ‘freedom of navigation’ principle to deliberately violate Chinese sovereignty, and noted that it was forced to activate its navy and warn the US destroyer to leave the area.
The Chinese warship came within just 45-yards of the USS Decatur on Sunday in what was called an “unsafe” interaction, according to two defense officials who spoke with CNN.
While Beijing repeatedly claimed the right to protect its interests and territorial claims in the South China Sea and slammed the abuse of the ‘freedom of navigation’ principle, the Pacific Fleet vowed to continue sailing close to disputed waters.
Last week China’s Defense Ministry also slammed Washington’s flyover of B-52 long-range, strategic bombers over the South China Sea, calling the display of force nothing short of “provocative.
The Spratly Islands is one of the island groups claimed by China, who has militarized the Spratly, Paracel, and other island clusters. The Chinese military remains on edge about operations nearing their claim, especially amid trade tensions with the USA.
RT.com / ABC Flash Point Military News 2018.