MEHR: China's military said on Tuesday it drove away a US guided-missile cruiser that "illegally intruded" into waters near the South China Sea's Spratly Islands.
A US missile cruiser on Tuesday entered the waters off the disputed Spratly Islands, also known as the Nansha Islands, which China considers as its own territory, without Beijing's permission, in what could be another evidence of Washington's intention to militarize the South China Sea, Chinese army spokesman Tian Junli said.
The Chinese navy immediately escorted the US cruiser out of the waters and warned it to leave the area, Tian, who serves in the Southern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army, said in a statement posted on the WeChat social network, Sputnik reported.
The actions of the US military seriously violated China's sovereignty and security, which proves the US desire to dominate shipping in the region, the spokesman added. The incident also demonstrates that Washington is a real source of security threats in the South China Sea, according to Tian.
He recalled that Beijing had undeniable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and adjacent waters, and therefore the Chinese forces maintain a state of high alert at all times to ensure peace and stability in the region.
The situation in the sea region is often complicated by the passage of US warships, which, according to Beijing, violate international law and undermine China's sovereignty and security. Despite protests from Beijing, Washington has said that the US forces will continue to operate wherever international law allowed, including the South China Sea.