China on Tuesday said it warned away a U.S. Navy destroyer sailing near Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) in the disputed South China Sea (SCS).
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command said the warship, USS John S. McCain, into waters near China's Nansha Islands without the authorization of the Chinese government.
The allegations come only a day after the PLA Navy announced that its Shandong aircraft carrier had sailed through the Taiwan Straits to enter the SCS for exercises.
The Chinese Army recently concluded the first test of its PHL-03 long-range multiple launch rocket system against a moving maritime target, showcasing its ability to conduct precision anti-ship operations with long-range rocket artillery.
Chinese analysts told the Global Times following the U.S. warship incident today, “Hostile ships near China's coast, islands and reefs will face coordinated attacks from artilleries of the PLA Army, surface ships and submarines of the Navy, warplanes of the Air Force and anti-ship ballistic missiles of the Rocket Force.”
“America’s ‘freedom of navigation’ operations in the South China Sea have become routine since 2017, and by conducting a new one at this time, the Trump administration is using its last month to leave president-elect Joe Biden with more trouble in US-China relations,” Chen Xiangmiao, an assistant research fellow at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank, claims that the U.S. Navy has conducted similar operations nine times so far in 2020, the most often in the past five years.