ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
South China Sea

China says US warship illegally entered its South China Sea zone

America denies incursion and dismisses claim its ship was 'expelled'

U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur patrols the Philippine Sea.   © Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) -- China said on Thursday a U.S. warship had illegally entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea, and was expelled by its forces, an assertion the United States denied, in the latest exchange of salvos over Beijing's claims in the busy waterway.

In a statement, the Chinese military's Southern Theatre Command said the USS Curtis Wilbur entered the waters near the Paracel islands without permission, adding that its ships and planes followed the U.S. vessel and "expelled" it.

It added that China opposed the U.S. action, which it said violated its sovereignty and undermined regional peace and stability.

However, the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said the vessel "asserted navigational rights and freedoms" near the Paracel islands, over which China, Taiwan and Vietnam all claim sovereignty.

The Chinese military's comments about the mission were false, it added.

"USS Curtis Wilbur was not 'expelled' from any nation's territory," it said.

"USS Curtis Wilbur conducted this Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in international waters."

The South China Sea has become one of many flashpoints in the testy relationship between China and the United States, with Washington rejecting what it calls unlawful territorial claims by Beijing in the resource-rich waters.

U.S. warships have passed through the South China Sea with increasing frequency in recent years, in a show of force against the Chinese claims.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more