China has accused two US Navy (USN) warships of having entered “without permission” what it claims to be the adjacent waters of two of its artificially built islands in the disputed South China Sea (SCS).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in Beijing said on 6 May that Arleigh Burke (Flight IIA)-class guided-missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) had sailed that same day within 12 n miles (22 km) of Gaven Reefs (also known as Nanxun Jiao) and Johnson South Reef (Chigua Jiao) in the Spratly Islands “without permission from the Chinese government”.
In a separate statement Senior Colonel Li Huamin, spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) Southern Theatre Command, said the PLA Navy despatched naval and aerial platforms to “conduct identification and verification of the two US warships according to laws and regulations, and warned them to leave”.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes