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China’s military said it “drove away” a U.S. warship that illegally entered Chinese waters near the Paracel Islands Monday, the anniversary of an international court ruling that held Beijing had no claim over the South China Sea.
The USS Benfold entered the waters without China’s approval, seriously violating its sovereignty and undermining the stability of the South China Sea, the southern theater command of the People’s Liberation Army said.
“We urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative actions,” it said in a statement.
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled that China had no historic title over the South China Sea, a ruling that China said it would ignore.