Tension between the US and China is increasing in the South China Sea ie SCS. Recently, the US has deployed two of its aircraft carriers and a large number of fighter aircraft in the South China Sea. Frightened by this, China has also now deployed fighter jets on its artificial islands. Tension in the area has increased significantly due to the ongoing war-counterattack between China and America.
The US Navy destroyer USS Benfold on Wednesday crossed Mischief Reef near the Spratly Islands, known as Nansha in China, saying it was part of a FONOP (Freedom of Navigation Operation). China is furious with this statement. He has called America the biggest destroyer of peace.
US 7th Fleet Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant Mark Langford said in a statement: “On September 8, the USS Benfold (DDG 65) sailed forward in the Spratly Islands in accordance with international law, emphasizing navigational rights and freedoms. During this time the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea were upheld under FONOP. The USS Benfold demonstrated that Mischief Reef, which is low tidal in its natural state, does not constitute a territorial sea under international law.’
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands. At the same time, many of its maritime neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, have also made competing claims to the islands and reefs of the South China Sea. The ring-shaped Mischief Reef is located about 250 km off the Philippines coast. Controversy has increased between America and China regarding this.
The statement further said, ‘Mischief Reef is formed in its natural form, as reflected in the Law of the Maritime Convention. Land reform efforts, installations and structures on it do not change its characterization under international law.’
In 2017 it was reported that China had built several military installations on the Spratly Islands, including Mischief Reef, to effectively bolster its claim. Experts believe that China is militarizing the South China Sea by showing the threat of American aircraft. For this reason, he is deploying more fighter jets on Woody Island.
Experts say that China has always wanted to deploy weapons and fighter jets on these artificial islands and after the US exercise, it has now got a chance to do so. US Navy warships often go near disputed islands, which has drawn sharp criticism from China.
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