US warship enters South China Sea to challenge China’s ‘reporting law’

US warships enter the South China Sea to challenge China's reporting law - Photo 1.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold – Photo: US Department of Defense

According to a statement broadcast on the website of the 7th Fleet (US), the operation of the destroyer USS Benfold around Mischief Reef is part of an operation to ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

The 7th Fleet also denied that it was chased away by Chinese warships and aircraft when it entered 12 nautical miles of water around Mischief Reef.

“According to international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the state of natural formation, geographical features such as Mischief Reef are submerged at high tide, so they do not enjoy territorial status. sea.

Land reclamation efforts, installation and construction of structures on Mischief Reef do not alter this feature under international law.

By engaging in normal operations within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, the United States has demonstrated that vessels can lawfully exercise freedoms of the seas in those areas,” the statement said. of the 7th Fleet emphasizes legitimacy.

Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands of Vietnam is one of the largest artificial features occupied and illegally reclaimed by China.

Beijing authorities have blatantly deployed a variety of weapons to this feature, including high-speed missile boats and anti-aircraft missiles.

US warship enters the South China Sea to challenge China's reporting law - Photo 2.

Mischief Reef was illegally occupied by China and converted into a military outpost – Photo: AMTI/CSIS

Not long after the US announced the operation of the USS Benfold, China’s Southern Theater Command voiced criticism.

Tian Jun Li – spokesman for the Southern Theater Command – claimed that the Chinese navy and air force had “monitored the whole process, monitored and warned the US ship to leave”.

He then blatantly declared that China had sovereignty over “the neighboring islands and seas”, condemning the US as the factor that undermines regional peace.

In a response statement on the same day on September 8, the 7th Fleet denied the so-called infringement of China’s sovereignty. The statement also emphasized that Beijing is deliberately “distorting legitimate US maritime activities and reinforcing excessive and illegal maritime claims” in the South China Sea.

“We will continue to sail at sea and in the air, operating wherever international law allows, as the USS Benfold did. Nothing China says will stop us,” the Fleet said. 7 closing the problem.

US confirms aircraft carrier is in the South China Sea

In another statement on the same day on September 8, the 7th Fleet confirmed that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group had entered the East Sea.

US warship enters the South China Sea to challenge China's reporting law - Photo 3.

F/A-18 fighters prepare to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on September 6 – Photo: US Department of Defense

In addition to the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, the US aircraft carrier group also includes the cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) and the littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16).

According to a statement from the 7th Fleet, during the time in the East Sea, the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group will conduct maritime security activities, train tactical coordination between surface warships and aircraft.

Rear Admiral Dan Martin, commander of the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group, emphasized that the presence of US warships is for the common interest of the international community, towards maintaining peace and stability and international order. based on rules.

Before entering the East Sea, the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group participated in the large-scale exercise 2021 (LSE 2021) and exercised with the British aircraft carrier group and the warships of the Japan Self-Defense Force.

US uses coast guard to deal with China US uses coast guard to deal with China

TTO – US military leaders believe that the increased presence of coast guard ships will receive a stronger response from countries along the South China Sea, because it does not flaunt the “muscular” message like naval warships.

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