China says it ‘drove away’ U.S. warship on anniversary of tribunal ruling

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BEIJING — China’s army stated it “drove away” a U.S. warship that illegally entered Chinese language waters close to the Paracel Islands on Monday, the anniversary of a world courtroom ruling that held Beijing had no declare over the South China Sea.

The usBenfold entered the waters with out China’s approval, critically violating its sovereignty and undermining the soundness of the South China Sea, the southern theater command of the Folks’s Liberation Military stated.

“We urge the USA to instantly cease such provocative actions,” it stated in an announcement.

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On July 12, 2016, the Everlasting Court docket of Arbitration within the Hague dominated that China had no historic title over the South China Sea, a ruling that Beijing stated it will ignore.

The Benfold asserted navigational rights and freedoms within the neighborhood of the Paracel Islands per worldwide regulation, the U.S. Navy stated in an announcement.

The islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, which require both permission or advance notification earlier than a army vessel passes via.

“Underneath worldwide regulation as mirrored within the Legislation of the Sea Conference, the ships of all states, together with their warships, take pleasure in the correct of harmless passage via the territorial sea,” the U.S. Navy added.

‘INNOCENT PASSAGE’

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“By participating in harmless passage with out giving prior notification to or asking permission from any of the claimants, the USA challenged these illegal restrictions imposed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.”

Tons of of different islands, reefs and atolls within the resource-rich waterway are contested by Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines. China claims rights to assets inside its so-called nine-dash line, or a lot of the area.

“By conducting this operation, the USA demonstrated that these waters are past what China can lawfully declare as its territorial sea, and that China’s claimed straight baselines across the Paracel Islands are inconsistent with worldwide regulation,” the U.S. Navy stated.

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In its 2016 ruling, the Hague courtroom additionally stated China had interfered with conventional Philippine fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal and breached the nation’s sovereign rights by exploring for oil and fuel close to the Reed Financial institution.

Freedom of the seas was an “enduring” curiosity of all nations, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Sunday.

“Nowhere is the rules-based maritime order underneath higher risk than within the South China Sea,” Blinken stated in an announcement.

“The Folks’s Republic of China continues to coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation on this crucial international throughway.”

China’s international ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated on Monday at an everyday briefing that the USA was harming peace and stability within the area.

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Within the Philippines, greater than 100 activists gathered outdoors a constructing housing the Chinese language consulate to press Beijing to respect the arbitral ruling and permit Filipinos to freely fish within the South China Sea.

The group marched with a Philippine flag and banners studying: “China get out of the West Philippine Sea” and “China out of our waters.”

Manila refers back to the a part of the South China Sea that it claims because the West Philippine Sea.

“Since our tribunal ruling victory, there have been no modifications. There’s nonetheless the presence of the Chinese language Coast Guard, the Chinese language militia…within the West Philippine Sea,” stated Fernando Hicap, head of a federation of small fisherfolk teams.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Further reporting by Jay Ereno in Manila; Modifying by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Clarence Fernandez and Chizu Nomiyama)

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