China lambasts ‘illegal’ US warship operations near South China Sea shoal

Warship USS Gabrielle Giffords
Warship USS Gabrielle Giffords

The Chinese military has accused a U.S. warship, the USS Gabrielle Giffords, of "seriously violating" Chinese sovereignty in the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported on Dec. 4.

The U.S. military, responded that it had acted in line with international law.

The incident with the U.S. warship occurred near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea on Dec. 4.

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The Chinese military accused the ship of illegal actions that "demonstrated that the United States is the biggest threat to peace and stability" in the region.

In response, the commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, Megan Greene, said that the U.S. ship was "conducting routine operations in international waters" that were in accordance with international law, Bloomberg wrote.

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"We will not be deterred from continuing to work alongside our allies and partners in support of our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific," Greene said.

Earlier, on Nov. 3, the United States and China held "candid talks on maritime issues," including the disputed South China Sea. Washington emphasized its concern over China's "dangerous and illegal" actions there.

On Nov. 20, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the situation in the South China Sea, where his country and China have a territorial dispute, was deteriorating. China is showing interest in atolls and shoals that are "closer and closer" to the Philippine coast.

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On Nov. 25, representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Defense announced that their military had pushed out the U.S. destroyer USS Hopper, which allegedly illegally entered the country's territorial waters in the South China Sea.

On Dec. 3, the U.S. military announced plans to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific region in 2024. The deployment of such missiles will take place for the first time since the Cold War.

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