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PLA warns off US warship near Xisha Islands

By ZHANG ZHIHAO | | Updated: 2022-07-13 12:24
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An aerial view of Yongxing Island, which is part of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, June 19, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Chinese military forces tracked and dispelled guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold after it illegally trespassed into Chinese territorial waters off Xisha Islands in the South China Sea on Wednesday, the People's Liberation Army Southern Theater Command said in a statement.

Senior Colonel Tian Junli, the spokesman of the theater command, said the warship ventured into Chinese territorial waters without approval from the Chinese government and severely undermined China's sovereignty and security, as well as peace and stability in the region.

The theater command organized air and maritime forces to track and warn off the ship, Tian said, adding the action by the United States military is further proof that the US is exercising maritime navigational hegemony and facilitating the militarization of the South China Sea.

"Facts have shown once again that the US is a security risk creator for the South China Sea and a disrupter of regional peace and stability," Tian said.

The theater command will remain on high alert and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and peace and stability in the sea, he added.

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