The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Tuesday 28th April expelled a US warship that trespassed into Chinese territorial waters off the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea as the US’ move could have easily caused an accident, a Chinese military spokesperson said on Tuesday, who also urged the US side to focus on COVID-19 prevention and control at home rather than destabilising regional security and peace.
The US Navy’s recent operations near China show its own fear of losing presence and influence in the Asia-Pacific region amid multiple COVID-19 outbreaks on its warships, analysts noted. The PLA Southern Theater Command organised naval and aerial forces to follow the US guided missile destroyer USS BARRY DDG 52 when she trespassed into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands on Tuesday, said Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesperson of the PLA Southern Theater Command, on Tuesday. They followed and monitored her course, identified the ship, warned and expelled it, Li said.
This is the first time the PLA Southern Theater Command has actively announced an illegal trespass of a US warship into waters off the Xisha Islands, and also the first time that an announcement was made on the same day since similar arrangements began in November 2018, sources said.
The US’ provocative actions seriously violated international law and related norms, seriously violated Chinese sovereignty and security interests, and intentionally increased regional security risks, Li said.
All images of USS BARRY DDG 52 at Malta back in 2011.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Thursday 30th April, 2020