China Claims To Have Driven A U.S. Warship Out Of The Disputed Waters

BEIJING, China — After Washington warned that an attack on the Philippines would trigger a mutual defense pact, China’s navy drove a U.S. Warship out of a disputed area of the South China Sea on Monday.

Beijing reaffirmed its rights to parts of the sea that are also claimed by nations in Southeast Asia. It dismissed the Biden administration’s Sunday expression of support for an international tribunal judgment in the Philippines’ favor, which threw out the majority of them.

China is becoming more active in asserting its territorial claims, which is escalating tensions with Japan, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

After the USS Benfold approached waters claimed by Beijing surrounding the Paracel Islands, the People’s Liberation Army stated it dispatched ships and planes.

The military claimed on its social media account that Chinese soldiers “warned them and pushed them away.”

The islands are “China’s inherent territory,” according to the PLA. “The US military’s activities have gravely harmed China’s sovereignty and security.”

The US Navy denied the Chinese claims as incorrect in a statement issued by the 7th Fleet Public Affairs office but provided no specifics about a probable contact with PLA soldiers.

According to the statement, the Benfold carried out the action “in line with international law” before continuing on to “perform regular operations in international seas.”

According to the Navy, the Chinese statement was “the latest in a long series of PRC attempts to distort lawful U.S. maritime operations and establish its disproportionate and unjustified maritime claims.”

The Biden administration reaffirmed its support for the 2016 tribunal decision rejecting China’s claims outside of its internationally recognized territorial season Sunday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Beijing of bullying its Southeast Asian neighbors and jeopardizing navigation in a vital global waterway.

An attack on Philippine boats or planes, according to Blinken, would “invoke US mutual defense commitments.” In the event of an attack, a 1951 pact binds Washington and Manila to help one other.

The panel’s decision was “a political farce,” according to Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. He stated that China’s territorial claims are “historically and legally sound.”

At a routine press briefing, Zhao stated, “China firmly deplores and opposes the United States’ wrongdoings.”

Swarms of Chinese warships moored in a disputed area of the South China Sea have been dumping human waste and wastewater for years, producing algal blooms that have harmed coral reefs and imperiled fish in an impending disaster, according to a US-based expert.

According to Liz Derr, CEO of Simularity Inc., a software company that develops artificial intelligence technologies for satellite imagery analysis, satellite images taken over the last five years show how human waste, sewage, and wastewater have accumulated and caused algae in the atoll known as Union Banks.

She claimed during a Philippine online news conference on China’s operations in the South China Sea that at least 236 ships were sighted in the atoll on June 17 alone.

Chinese officials did not immediately respond to Derr’s estimate of environmental harm, but they have previously stated that they have taken efforts to safeguard the South China Sea’s fisheries stock and ecosystem.

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