CHINA RAPS US FOR SENDING DESTROYER NEAR PARACEL ISLANDS
China has accused the United States (US) of sending its destroyer USS John McCain near the Paracel Island, the subject of a territorial dispute with Vietnam, without permission from Beijing.
In a report written by Tim Korso for the Russian outlet Sputnik News, Beijing accused Washington of “militarizing” the South China Sea (SCS), an accusation that the US has consistently leveled at China. Washington has repeatedly condemned what it calls "China's militarization of the SCS " – an area riddled with conflicting territorial claims of China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines, but which is mostly controlled by Beijing's forces. China has built military facilities in the maritime features but says they are of a purely defensive nature, or first line of defense for Beijing.
Chinese authorities have argued that the US military's activities in the area undermine regional efforts to resolve territorial disputes even as Beijing already lost its preposterous claim to have sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague. Only China insists it has historic rights over the shoals, a type of claim that is ignored by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to which China is a signatory.
The Chinese defense ministry demanded that the US warship leave the area and threatened “resolute steps to defend its national sovereignty and maintain stability in the region.” Only China has reclaimed reefs, atolls, islets in the Spratlys and stationed warships and warplanes in them, thus destroying its pompous claim that it is the US that has militarized the region. "We demand the US immediately stop such provocative actions and strictly control and restrict military operations in the sea and air," the defense ministry's spokesperson said. The US, France, Australia, the United Kingdom and other countries have launched freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in area routinely in the past several years but China failed to enforce any of its supposed “resolute actions” to defend its fictitious sovereignty in the Spratlys.