China has recently accused the United States of a significant territorial infringement in the South China Sea, a region known for its complex and heated territorial disputes.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords, a U.S. naval ship, was reported to have “illegally intruded” into waters near the Second Thomas Shoal, an area contested by China and the Philippines.
China mobilizes naval forces in response to USS Gabrielle Giffords tracking
The People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater of China responded by mobilizing its naval forces to track the USS Gabrielle Giffords.
China’s military condemned the U.S. action, alleging it violated Chinese sovereignty and international laws, destabilizing regional peace.
China accuses U.S. of South China Sea disruption, U.S. Navy denies
“The U.S. deliberately disrupted the situation in the South China Sea, seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security, seriously undermined regional peace and stability, and seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations,” the statement said.
In contrast, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, stationed in Japan, refuted these accusations, insisting that the USS Giffords was conducting routine operations in international waters in line with international law.
USS Giffords: Specialized ship in tense South China sea
The USS Giffords, a littoral combat ship, is specifically designed for operations in coastal zones.
The South China Sea has been a focal point for naval confrontations between China and the Philippines, with the latter often overshadowed by China’s military superiority.
US Navy’s commitment to a free Indo-Pacific, Philippine territorial disputes
The Philippines, in response, has sought support from the United States in these territorial disputes.
The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet emphasized its commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, supporting the sovereignty of all nations, large and small, and advocating for resolution of disputes without coercion.
US strategy for South China sea freedom of navigation
This stance is part of the U.S.’s broader strategy to ensure freedom of navigation in accordance with international laws and norms.
China’s claim to sovereignty over almost all areas in the South China Sea is contested by several other nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei, contributing to the region’s complexity.
US presence in South China sea amidst China’s growing power
The South China Sea, a vital shipping lane and fishing ground, has been routinely patrolled by the U.S. for decades to ensure regional peace.
However, China’s rise as a military and global power over the past half-century is challenging the long-standing American influence in the region.
USS Gabrielle Giffords: A unique naval tribute to a living woman
The USS Gabrielle Giffords, named after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was commissioned on June 10, 2017, in Galveston, Texas.
It is notable for being the third Navy ship ever named after a living woman, symbolizing its unique place in naval history.