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25 Nov, 2023 23:23

Chinese Navy chases off US destroyer – military

The USS Hopper “illegally intruded” into Chinese waters, according to Beijing
Chinese Navy chases off US destroyer – military

The Chinese military has chased away a United States warship near the disputed Xisha/Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a spokesman for the People's Liberation Army said on Saturday, calling Washington a “security risk maker” and the “biggest destroyer” of peace and stability in the region.

The breach of China’s territorial waters by the USS Hopper guided-missile destroyer “severely jeopardized” Beijing’s sovereignty, and once again proved that Washington is seeking “navigation hegemony” and “militarization” of the South China Sea, said spokesman for the PLA's Southern Theater Command, senior colonel Tian Junli.

The Chinese military deployed “air and naval forces to follow and monitor” the intruder, and “drove it away according to law,” CGTN reported. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the incident.

The Xisha islands are a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, which is de-facto governed by China. Known internationally as the Paracel Islands, they are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. Washington does not recognize China’s claim of sovereignty over the islands and has repeatedly called it “unlawful” and posing “a serious threat to the freedom of the seas.”

Similar incidents with American warships “caught trespassing” near the Paracel Islands have happened before. Destroyer USS Milius was “warned away” from the region by the Chinese Navy in March this year, while USS Benfold was chased away twice in 2022.