US warship’s consecutive trespasses into Nansha, Xisha islands ‘exposes own anxiety’
Published: Jul 16, 2022 05:52 PM
USS <em>Benfold</em> DDG-65 file photo:cnsphotos

USS Benfold DDG-65 file photo:cnsphotos

A US destroyer sailed near the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea on Saturday, only a few days after it was driven away by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) from Chinese territorial waters off the Xisha Islands. Consecutive provocations from the US expose not only its navigational hegemony, but also its anxiety facing the growing capabilities of the PLA, experts said.

The USS Benfold destroyer sailed near the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing a US Navy statement on the day.

The latest event came days after the same US warship was warned away on Wednesday by naval and air forces of the PLA Southern Theater Command for illegally entering Chinese territorial waters of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

Similar measures must have also been taken against the US destroyer this time, analysts said.

It is rare that a US warship would consecutively trespass into waters of the Nansha and the Xisha islands, and this is a new kind of provocation, observers said.

Provocations like this follow US' hegemonic mind-set, as the US military's warplanes and warships approach the waters and airspace near China to flex their muscles and show off their presence, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Facing China's growing military capabilities to defend itself, the US military is becoming anxious and less confident in carrying out its own hegemony, and that is why the US is ramping up provocations in an attempt to prove its might, Wei said.

But the US will end up lifting a stone only to drop on its own feet, Wei remarked.

China will hold military exercises in a large area in the South China Sea from Sunday to Wednesday, according to a navigational notice released by the Maritime Safety Administration on Friday.