China scrambled aircraft and sortied ships to track and expel a frontline US warship from near a Beijing-controlled island chain in the South China Sea on Tuesday, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has said.Accusing the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry of carrying out a “provocative act” and violating Chinese sovereignty, the PLA’s southern command said the intrusion of the American warship prompted it to “track, monitor, verify, identify and expel” it.A Chinese military spokesperson later had a piece of advice for the US military: Focus on Covid-19 prevention at home rather destabilising regional peace and security.The incident took place off the Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands in China, and the Hoang Sa Archipelago in Vietnam, in the South China Sea.A cluster of more than 30 islands, they are controlled by Beijing but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.China claims nearly the entire South China Sea but those claims are disputed by several maritime neighbours including Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia besides Vietnam and Taiwan (which China says is a breakaway region.) The route taken by the US warship, which also earlier crossed the Taiwan Straits, prompted strong response and reaction from China.“The US’ provocative actions… Read full this story
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