According to a statement released by the Chinese military, they chased a US warship out of disputed waters within the South China Sea on Monday. This comes after US officials warned an attack on the Philippines might conclude in a defense treaty.
China declared portions of the sea claimed by Southeast Asia governments to be Chinese inherited territory. This action rejects the White Houses’ declaration of support for an international tribunal ruling in favor of the Philippines.
Tensions are rising between China and its neighboring countries Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, and India.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) explains they dispatched ships and planes to confront the U.S.S Benfold, who entered claimed waters around the Paracel Islands. The Chinese military says on their social media account that they “warned them and drove them away.”
The islands are “China’s inherent territory…The actions of the U.S. military have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security.” – PLA.
In a statement by the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet Public Affairs office, they denounced the Chinese report to be false. However, they gave no details of the encounter with the Chinese navy.
The U.S.S Benfold carried out the operation “in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in international waters.”
The statement from China was “the latest in a long string of PRC actions to misrepresent lawful U.S. maritime operations and assert its excessive and illegitimate claims,” the U.S. Navy states.