The United States sent a warship through the South China Sea, resulting in a statement from China calling the move “destabilizing.”
A map of the South China Sea
According to the Navy, the USS Benfold traveled near the disputed Paracel islands in a “freedom of navigation operation.”
The US Navy continued by saying “unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations.”
A Chinese military installation in the South China Sea
The Chinese Government quickly responded by saying “On July 13, the US guided missile destroyer Benfold illegally broke into China’s Paracel territorial waters without the approval of the Chinese Government. The move seriously damaged the peace and stability of the South China Sea, and seriously violated international law and the norms of international relations.”
For years, tensions between China and the United States have continued to grow, with territorial claims in the South China sea being a primary issue. China claims that almost all waters in the South China Sea are their territorial waters, a claim the United States disputes. Due to this, the United States regularly moves aircraft and vessels through the region.