China Claims US Warship Violated Its Sovereignty

Phillip Cunningham
January 22, 2018

China on Saturday vowed to take "necessary measures" to safeguard its sovereignty after a U.S. warship entered the waters surrounding Huangyan Island in the South China Sea without Beijing's permission.

China said that the US ship came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, according to a Reuters report.

"We hope that the United States respects China's sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing", Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian has said.

Lu said the ship violated China's sovereignty and security interests and threatened the safety of China's vessels and personnel in the vicinity.

'We hope that the United States respects China's sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing, ' Wu said in a statement on the ministry's website.

The U.S. Navy has previously conducted FONOPs in the South China Sea through other disputed island chains claimed by China, including the Spratleys and the Paracels.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said: "All operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows".

China's Defense ministry echoed Lu's tone in a separate statement on Saturday, stressing that the military will step up vigilance against air and sea patrols to defend national and regional peace and stability.


The Philippines and China are both claiming sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal.

'The United States conducts routine and regular FONOPs, as we have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future, ' Lt. Cmdr.

It lies about 230 kilometers (140 miles) from the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), where 6 countries have overlapping claims.

Zhang said the shoal was the Philippines' unspoken bottom line in its quiet diplomacy with China on the South China Sea.

FONOP is the military's term for freedom of navigation operations. The tribunal ruled previous year that the "nine-dash line" which underpins Beijing's claim to most of the South China Sea had no legal basis. "Not all ops have been reported".

Twelve nautical miles is an internationally recognised territorial limit.

The US and Chinese militaries have had frequent standoffs in the South China Sea. But Panatag is a shoal although China calls it "Huangyan Island". "Doing so would put at risk its improved relations with the Philippines under Duterte".

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER