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China, US Navy in row over guided-missile destroyer in South China Sea

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 06:11 PM
Tan KW
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BEIJING China’s defence ministry said on Friday that it had to yet again monitor and drive away the US. Navy destroyer USS Milius that entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands.

“We sternly demand the US to immediately stop such provocative acts; otherwise, it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen incidents,” a spokesperson said in a statement from the Ministry of National Defence.

The US Navy said the guided-missile destroyer was asserting its navigational rights and freedoms.

“Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations,” the US Navy 7th fleet said in an emailed statement.

US forces operate in the South China Sea on a daily basis, the US Navy said.

It was the second straight day of a stand-off between the two superpowers, amid growing tensions in the South China Sea.

China claims vast swathes of the area overlap with exclusive economic zones of various countries, including the Philippines. Trillions of dollars in trade flow every year through the waterway.


  - Reuters


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