After the United States disapproved of the provocations of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which raised tensions over the South China Sea after it fired ballistic missiles, Beijing responded to the United States by claiming that it was a “troublemaker.”
As Express UK indicated, during military exercises carried out in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, the PLA launched at least four ballistic missiles, leading the Pentagon to qualify such actions as a threat to peace and security in the region.
“The conduct of military exercises over disputed territories in the South China Sea is counterproductive to easing tensions and maintaining stability,” the Pentagon announced in a statement.
“Such exercises also violate the commitments of the People’s Republic of China under the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to avoid activities that would complicate or aggravate disputes and affect peace and stability,” the Pentagon said.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile DF-26B and a medium-range missile DF-21D after alleging that a U.S. spy plane had entered a Chinese no-fly zone where naval exercises were being conducted.
However, the Pentagon claimed that the flight of the aircraft was “within accepted international rules and regulations governing aircraft flight.”
Beijing called the United States a “saboteur and troublemaker” in the region. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the exercises were “routine arrangements made by the Chinese army off the coast of China.”
In another episode that took place last Thursday, the CCP claimed to have forced the retreat of a U.S. ship that had allegedly passed through the maritime territorial waters of the Paracel Islands over which the CCP claims to have jurisdiction.
The spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Navy Lieutenant James Adams, responded to Beijing’s accusations by emphasizing that the ship had never been withdrawn from the area, calling such statements about the mission false.
According to Adams, the ship “conducted this freedom of navigation operation in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in international waters.”
Adams called the CCP’s statements, “The latest in a long string of PRC actions to misrepresent lawful U.S. maritime operations and assert its excessive and illegitimate maritime claims at the expense of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea,” according to Newsweek.
Adams emphasized that the operation “upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging the unlawful restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam and also by challenging China’s claim to straight baselines enclosing the Paracel Islands.”
Last week, Vietnamese ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are inseparable parts of Vietnamese territory. He stressed that Vietnam has a fully legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over both archipelagos under international law.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in July that the claims by the CCP in the region are completely illegal.
“Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them,” he wrote in a statement.