The American destroyer Benfold conducted an operation to ensure freedom of navigation in the waters of the Paracel Islands in accordance with the norms of international law. This is stated on the website of the seventh Fleet of the United States.
вЂњThis operation to ensure freedom of navigation supported the rights, freedoms and legitimate use of the sea recognized by international law, challenging the illegal restrictions on peaceful passage imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, as well as challenging China's claims to the original lines of the straits surrounding the Paracel Islands,вЂќ the report said.
The US Navy claims that the PRC's statement about this operation is false. The destroyer conducted an operation to ensure freedom of navigation in accordance with international law, and then continued conducting normal operations in international waters, the press release says.
Earlier, the official representative of the Southern Zone of the Combat Command of the People's Liberation Army of China, Tian Junli, said that the American missile destroyer Benfold had invaded the territorial waters of the People's Republic of China in the South China Sea.