A US warship was “expelled” from the disputed Chinese territorial waters after Beijing’s navy scrambled fighter jets and naval assets to escort it away from the South China Sea, accusing Washington of “provocative” actions in the neighborhood.

The USS ‘Barry,’ a guided missile destroyer, “trespassed” into Beijing’s territorial waters near the disputed Xisha Islands – also known as the Paracel Islands. The incident marks the first time the navy “actively announced” an illegal trespass in the area.

The US’ provocative actions seriously violated international law and related norms, seriously violated Chinese sovereignty and security interests, and intentionally increased regional security risks.

We urge the USA side to focus on epidemic prevention and control on its homeland… and immediately stop military actions against regional security, peace and stability.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have seen a steep rise in recent weeks, with both sides trading accusations regarding the Corona-virus pandemic and its origins.

US officials, including President Donald Trump, claim that China concealed vital information in the early stages of the health crisis, even freezing funding for the World Health Organization over its supposed role in the cover-up.

Beijing has hit back by insinuating that the US military may have had a hand in the original Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, while a number of Chinese officials have rejected the US allegations, insisting it shared information on the virus as soon as it was available.

Made up by some 40 islets and reefs, the Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, which itself is also regarded by Beijing as its own territory.

But since a short military confrontation over the archipelago with Vietnam in 1974, China has maintained control of the islands, which are now administered by the provincial government of Hainan.

Washington, however, does not recognize Beijing’s territorial claim, considering the area around the island chain to be international waters.

RT. com / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2020.

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29-04-20 15:28

The Paracel Reef Islands either belong to Vietnam or China. Not Taiwan, because that lies much further away from the disputed area.