One day after the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted a test launch to their aircraft-carrier killer missiles, the United States responded. The U.S. Navy sent a destroyer that went past the Paracel Islands, which is rightfully Vietnam's.
The American naval destroyer USS Mustin DDG-89 is an Arleigh-Burke class which made freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) as part of the 7th Fleet last Thursday. Paracel Islands are only one of the disputed areas in the SCS. The Navy has conduct FONOPs as a reminder to the communists of the American presence in Indo-Pacific, according to Nationalist Interest.
US not afraid of China's killer missiles
Activities in the South China Sea has stepped up as the PLAN carried out a test launch of their latest ship killers, meant for American aircraft carriers. The Chinese are trying to flaunt the latest addition to their fleet, which they believe is their ace against U.S. carrier strike groups.
Commander Reann Mommsen stated in USNI News that the U.S. Navy is asserting its right to navigate waters in the SCS, that is recognized by international laws that challenges the illegal claims of Beijing.
China has militarized several locations in the SCS that includes the Paracels, an island chain that lies on the eastern coast of Vietnam. This area has been weaponized and militarized, and China exert illegal control over the area, beyond the 12 nautical miles from the shoreline. Only American warships are unhindered while the PLA Navy bullies other warships and boats.
A statement from the U.S. Navy says that three claims must permit any civilian or military ship that intends to pass. But, the Chinese are the sole authority that even prevents Vietnamese fishermen from the area.
China impose its will on its stolen territory which is not in line with international law. By conducting FONOPs, the U.S. is exercising the right of free passage, which the communists don't like. Beijing is most active in keeping up its territorial claims, even though it's illegal. Other claimants are not as aggressive as Bejing, like Taiwan and Vietnam, who possess more legal rights.
Beijing has slowly taken over the SCS
Even during the pandemic, China has moved as the U.S. Navy was hampered by breakouts that docked several of the big carriers. Only the USS American and her tenders, with littoral combat ships, were the ones to face off the PLA Navy, along with the American submarine fleet.
Beijing used the DF-21D and DF-26B that they call carrier killers, which are unified with other missile defense systems spread out in PLA Navy installation. This, according to the Pentagon, is a violation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to prevent escalation of disputes, as mentioned in The Diplomat.
When a U-2 recon plane of the U.S. invaded the ADIZ off the Bohai Sea, the PLA was practicing live-firing drills which brought about an angry response. The U.S. manages to get nothing more than angry Beijing barking.
Beijing calls it provocative when their vessel has acted lawlessly and attacked Vietnamese and Filipino fishermen, even ramming a Vietnamese vessel.