A statement released by the Southern Theatre Command said the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville had entered the waters around the Paracel Islands on Wednesday without the approval of the Chinese government.
“The Southern Theatre Command organised navy and air forces to monitor the US vessel, and gave warning for it to leave,” the statement said.
“The theatre command will continue close monitoring of the air and sea conditions to prevent the happening of events that poses a threat to national security.”
US sends warship to South China Sea to challenge ‘excessive’ claims
The statement called on the United States to properly manage its navy and air fleet to avoid miscalculations.
US Pacific Fleet spokesman Nathan Christensen said in a statement on Thursday that the US warship conducted the operation near the islands – known in China as the Xisha Islands – to challenge China’s claim to them.
“USS Chancellorsville sailed near the Paracel Islands to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” he said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday that the US ship had entered Chinese waters without permission and China had made its position known with its “stern representations”.