Dewey United States Navy Destroyer [navy.mil]
On May 25, a Chinese Defense Ministry representative voiced a protest against US actions connected with an American destroyer’s entering the waters of the Nansha Archipelago [Spratly Islands – Editor], according to the RIA Novosti News Agency.
The US Navy destroyer, USS Dewey, passed by the Nansha Archipelago without the consent from the PRC as close as 12 nautical miles, which China considers its national territory. The Chinese Defense Ministry representative said, “China expresses strong protest and has already made representation to the US side in connection with such a demonstration of military force, boost to the militarization of the region and actions that can easily lead to incidents at sea and in the air.” He underlined additionally, that the Nansha Islands are under the indisputable sovereignty of China.
The Nansha Archipelago is located in the South China Sea which has the utmost economic value. Territorial disputes over the South China Sea islands’ sovereignty began in the 20th century, in particular, regarding the islands of the Nansha Archipelago being contested by China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei.
On July 12, 2016, the Hague Tribunal passed a verdict against China and declared that China does not have historical rights to the contested islands in the South China Sea. China did not recognize the Court’s decision.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency