The U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) has sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on March 10.
Paracel Islands, also known as Hoàng Sa in Vietnamese and Xisha in Chinese, is a disputed group of islands in the South China Sea currently controlled and occupied by China. The islands are also claimed by Vietnam (occupied before 1974) and Taiwan.
A spokesperson with the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Senior Colonel Li Huamin, said in a statement that the “Chinese military monitored a U.S. warship that entered Chinese territorial waters without permission and warned it to leave”.
“The command will continue to watch closely Chinese waters and air to prevent any incident that may harm China’s national security and to safeguard national sovereignty”, Li added.
According to the U.S. Navy, the destroyer conducted “security and stability operations while transiting through the South China Sea”.
USS McCampbell is underway conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific region while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.