The Chinese military strongly opposes the US guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur trespassing into territorial waters of China’s Xisha Islands in the South China Sea on Thursday, the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command said in a statement.
The command mobilized forces to track and warn the ship to leave, said Air Force senior colonel Tian Junli, the command’s spokesman, adding that Xisha Islands are “inherent territory of China”.
“The action by the US has seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security, and severely undermined peace and stability in the region,” Tian said. “It has violated international laws and basic principles in international relations, deliberately increased regional security risks, and can easily lead to misunderstanding, misjudgment and maritime accidents.”
Tian called the action by the US navy “unprofessional and irresponsible”, saying it proves that the US is a “security risks generator in the South China Sea”. The command will remain on high alert, and adamantly safeguard national sovereignty, security and peace and stability in the region, he added.
On Tuesday, the US warship sailed through the Taiwan Straits, prompting protest from the PLA Eastern Theater Command on Wednesday saying the US passage has sent the sent the wrong signals to Taiwan separatist forces and threatened peace and stability in the region.