China’s armed forces accused the US of “ill intentions” in the South China Sea after an American warship entered waters near the contested Spratly
Islands last week.
“The US ship’s deliberate provocation during the traditional lunar Chinese New Year festival, which harboured ill
intentions, is a naked act of navigational hegemony,” Senior Colonel Li Huamin, spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s southern command, said in a statement.
The USS Montgomery, an Independence-class combat ship, was tracked by PLA forces on January 25 sailing in an area adjacent to where China controls a man-made island without Beijing’s authorisation.
China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines each claim sovereignty over some or all of the Spratly Islands.