Beijing claims it has warned a US destroyer in South China Sea after missile launch

Beijing claims it has warned a US destroyer in South China Sea after missile launch

  • The USS Mustin sailed near the Paracel Islands in the disputed waterway after Chinese missile launch in the region
  • Deployment intended to keep critical shipping lanes ‘free and open’, American Pacific Fleet says

China says it has warned off a US guided-missile destroyer in the South China Sea which was deployed to the disputed waters after a Chinese missile launch in the latest of a series of escalating tensions in the region.

The Chinese military said the destroyer sailed into “China’s territorial waters” near the islands, called the Xisha by China, and the PLA Southern Theatre Command had dispatched naval and air forces and “expelled” the US Navy ship.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters in the region, and the command troops are always on high alert to resolutely protect national sovereignty and safeguard peace and stability in the region of the South China Sea”, PLA spokesman Senior Colonel Li Huamin said early on Friday.