The American missile destroyer Benfold entered the waters of the disputed Xisha Islands (Paracel Islands) in the South China Sea without permission, which China considers its own. The Chinese military issued a warning to the American ship, follows from the statement of the official representative of the Southern Zone of the combat Command of the People’s Liberation Army of China, Tian Junli.

It is reported that the American missile destroyer Benfold on July 12 “illegally invaded the waters of the Chinese Xisha Islands without the permission of the Chinese government.” The PLA Navy group of the Southern Combat Command Zone escorted the American ship and gave it a warning.

“The Xisha Archipelago is the ancestral territory of China. The actions of the American ship are an unceremonious violation of China’s sovereignty, a serious undermining of peace and stability in the South China Sea, violate the basic principles of international law and international relations, lead to increased security risks in the region, another evidence of the militarization of the South China Sea. The facts show that the United States is a pure creator of security risks in the South China Sea,” the statement says.

The Chinese defense ministry condemned the actions of the American destroyer and expressed a strong protest.

“We urge the American side to immediately stop such provocations, to control its military actions at sea; otherwise all responsibility for the possible consequences will lie entirely on the American side. The PLA military is on alert and is ready to resolutely defend China’s state sovereignty, peace, and stability in the South China Sea at any time,” the statement said.