The PLA Southern Theater Command organized naval and air forces, tracked, monitored, and warned away the US warship in accordance with the law, Tian said.
The conflict between China and the United States over the Paracel Islands is rooted in the broader territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The Paracel Islands, known as Xisha in Chinese and Hoàng Sa in Vietnamese, are a group of small islands, islets, and reefs located in the South China Sea, which are claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The main conflict, however, is between China and the United States.
China’s claim to the Paracel Islands is based on historical records and maps dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). On the other hand, Vietnam also has historical claims over the islands, with records dating back to the 15th century. Taiwan, being the successor to the Republic of China, claims the islands as part of its territory as well.
The United States is not a claimant in the dispute but has expressed concerns over China’s actions in the South China Sea, particularly with regard to the construction of artificial islands and military installations.
The U.S. has close alliances with several countries in the region, including the Philippines and Vietnam, and conducts regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) in the area to challenge what it perceives as excessive maritime claims.
The conflict over the Paracel Islands is part of the larger South China Sea dispute, which involves overlapping territorial claims by several countries, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.
Both sides have conducted military exercises in the region, increasing the risk of incidents that could escalate into a more significant conflict.