The recent patrol activity of U.S Navy ship near the highly contested area in the South China Sea did not sit well with the Chinese. In response, China sent its fighter jets while maintaining that the U.S activity in the region is illegal.
Bill Urban, spokesperson for U.S Defense Department said its activity in the region is part of its so-called ‘freedom of navigation’ campaign in the region. The U.S has been stressing that China’s claim in most part of the region is excessive, the Reuters reported.
Just recently, the U.S Navy sent its guided missile destroyer near the Ferry Cross Reef, a vast area in the South China Sea that China occupies. This development is the recent of the series of word war between the U.S and China over this disputed area to which China claims 90 percent.
“These excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention in that they purport to restrict the navigation rights that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise,” Urban said in a statement emailed to the Reuters.
But Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, in a report from the Chinese news website CRJ, said U.S Navy’s USS William Lawrence entered China’s territory illegally. Lu said the same American vessel has been monitored and issued with a warning upon its entry in the Chinese territory.
In response, Lu said, the Chinese Defense Ministry sent at least three Chinese fighter jets to shoo away the American war ship. Lu maintained that the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has never been curtailed ever since.
“The action by the U.S. threatens China’s sovereignty and security, endangers the safety of people and facilities on the reef and harms regional peace and stability/ China strongly opposes such action by the United States and will continue to take measures to safeguard our sovereignty and security,” Lu was quoted as saying by the CRJ news.