China warns away US warship in South China Sea
China’s military says it has warned away a US warship that had illegally entered Chinese waters near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over the strategic waterway.
According to reports, the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said on Thursday that the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold had entered the waters of the Paracels without the Chinese government's approval, violating the country's sovereignty.
It added that Chinese naval and air forces tracked the ship and warned it to leave the vicinity of the disputed islands.
"We solemnly demand that the US side immediately stop such provocative actions, otherwise it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen events," the PLA said.
Also in September, China’s army forces warned off the Benfold, which trespassed in China's territorial waters near the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.
China has always warned the US against military activities in the sea. Beijing says potential close military encounters between the air and naval forces of the two countries in the region may cause accidents.