US Navy warship again challenges Beijing's South China Sea claims

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: May 29, 2020, 12:50 PM(IST)

South China Sea Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

This comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing on a range of issues including the Hong Kong row and responsibility for the coronavirus outbreak.

The US Navy has, once again, challenged Beijing's claims in the South China Sea, sailing the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin near the Paracel Islands.

This comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing on a range of issues including the Hong Kong row and responsibility for the coronavirus outbreak.

The US Navy has earlier sailed warships in a similar effort -- first along the Paracel and Spratly islands in the last month, and the second near the Paracels in March.

"On May 28 (local time), USS Mustin (DDG 89) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law," a spokesperson for the US Navy's 7th Fleet, said in a statement.

"By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are beyond what China can lawfully claim as its territorial sea," the statement added.

The Mustin passed within 12 nautical miles of Woody Island and Pyramid Rock in the islands.

The Pentagon recently revealed that a Chinese vessel on April 14 conducted unprofessional manoeuvres near the Mustin which was conducting normal operations in international waters.

The US military has recently accused China of seeking to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to gain military and economic advantages in the region.

Read in App