China says ‘drove away’ U.S. warship in S. China Sea; U.S. says routine interaction

China says ‘drove away’ U.S. warship in S. China Sea; U.S. says routine interaction
USS Benfold (DDG-65) and a Singapore navy landing ship, RSS Endurance (LST-207), in 2017. USN image via USNI News

[Ed. – It’s more likely to have been routine; i.e., China issuing warnings, U.S. stating international law basis for passage, neither side escalating.  Interesting that China claims to have driven our ship away, however.  That’s Iran-level nonsense, if Beijing is engaging in it.]

China’s military said it “drove away” a U.S. warship that illegally entered Chinese waters near the Paracel Islands on Monday, the anniversary of an international court ruling that held Beijing had no claim over the South China Sea.

The Chinese comments resembled the usual reaction from Beijing following freedom of navigation operations by U.S. warships held almost every month in the South China Sea.

The U.S. Navy destroyer Benfold entered the waters without China’s approval, seriously violating its sovereignty and undermining the stability of the South China Sea, the southern theatre command of the People’s Liberation Army said.

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Two U.S. defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the operation was routine as was the Chinese reaction – and not something that was causing concern in the Pentagon.

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