- China warns US that the minor sea encounters could spark war
- China insists its sovereignty rights in South China Sea
- Both countries come into an agreement to avoid future clashes
China issued its warning on US following the sail of a US destroyer close to its artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Apparently, the US destroyer USS Lassen navigated within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef which China has developed into an artificial island.
Aside from the destroyer, a navy surveillance plane was travelling with it, as mentioned in an article published in The Herald.
Because of these ‘acts’, as part of the sovereignty rights claim by China, Admiral Wu Shengli of the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy had a teleconference with his U.S. counterpart, Admiral John Richardson, to address the issue of intrusion.
Wu stated, “If the US continues to carry out these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could be a serious situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that could spark conflict.“
Adding to it, Wu said, “Such dangerous and provocative acts have threatened China’s sovereignty and security and harmed regional peace and stability.”
However, the Admiral still expressed optimism over the talk as he said, “I hope the US cherishes the hard-won, good situation between the Chinese and US Navies, and avoids similar incidents from happening again.”
In a similar article published in Inquirer, it was disclosed that China asserts its territorial claims to almost all of the South China sea, despite the claim of Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei.
The United States, however, emphasized that it does not recognize Chinese claims to territorial waters around the artificial islands; stressing that it is entitled to protect the rights, freedom and lawful uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under the international law.
On a positive note, during the one hour teleconference, both parties came up with the agreement that both sides will adhere to follow the protocol as stated in the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) to avoid clashes.