A warship from the United States Navy sailed through the disputed waters off the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea near the Philippines on Thursday last week, in an obvious show of force against China.
In a statement, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said its guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands.”
“This freedom of navigation operation… upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan,” it added.
China is claiming the entire of the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands. The disputed waters is said to have valuable oil and gas deposits.
Besides the Philippines, the countries claiming part of the South China sea include Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The USS John S. McCain is one of the most powerful surface war ships of the US Navy. It is armed with 90 missiles that hit air, sea or land-based target, and a variety of guns. SOVEREIGPH