China says US warships seriously infringed Chinese sovereignty

China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that the recent sailing of United States Navy warships within 12 nautical miles of Paracel Islands in South China Sea is serious infringement on China’s sovereignty.

According to report of international media, Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76) carried out maneuvering operations near Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody islands in the Paracels on May 27.

Chinese MND spokesperson Wu Qian said Chinese military took immediate actions by dispatching naval ships and aircraft to conduct legal identification and verification of the US warships and warn them off.

Wu said the Paracels are China’s inherent territory, and according to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Chinese government promulgated the baseline of the territorial sea off the Paracel Islands in 1996.

“The U.S. provocative action by sending once again warships into China’s territorial waters surrounding the Xisha Islands violated Chinese law and relevant international law, seriously infringed sovereignty of China,” he said.

Wu said the action of US “undermined strategic mutual trust between the two militaries and damaged peace, security and good order in relevant waters.”

The Chinese MND said the Chinese military is unshakably determined to strengthen its naval and air combat readiness, raise defense level, safeguard national sovereignty and security and maintain regional peace and stability, the spokesperson said explicitly.