China Claims Warning Off US Destroyer

The Chinese military claimed that they have warned off the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold in the South China Sea.

“On Thursday, the USS Benfold guided-missile destroyer illegally entered the Chinese territorial waters of Xisha Islands without authorization from the Chinese government,” said Senior Colonel Tian Junli, spokesperson at the PLA Southern Theater Command.

Tain added that they deployed naval and air forces to follow and  “warn off” the American warship.

Lt. Mark Langford, spokesperson for the US 7th Fleet said that the Benfold sailed around the Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands in China as part of a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP.)

“Under international law … the ships of all states — including their warships — enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea. The unilateral imposition of any authorization or advance-notification requirement for innocent passage is unlawful,” defended the US Navy on its FONOP. 


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