China Sought To Intercept British Warship, Claiming Expanded Territorial Waters | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

China Sought To Intercept British Warship, Claiming Expanded Territorial Waters

In but the latest incident among a growing list that point to China's expanding claims on the South China Sea, a British naval ship carrying Royal Marines had a confrontation with Chinese military vessels as it reportedly traveled through international waters.

The incident took place near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in South China Sea, and while the UK claims its ship stayed only in recognized international waters, China's foreign ministry is disputing that claim, calling the British navy's actions a "provocation".

Reuters reports of the disputed incident:

The HMS Albion, a 22,000 ton amphibious warship carrying a contingent of Royal Marines, exercised its “freedom of navigation” rights as it passed near the Paracel Islands, two sources, who were familiar with the matter but who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

The vessel was traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, where it safely docked after the encounter which according to a Reuters source involved China deploying "a frigate and two helicopters to challenge the British vessel, but both sides remained calm during the encounter."

The Paracel Islands are hotly disputed territory, and though occupied entirely by China are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, the British vessel may have entered to within twelve nautical miles of the Paracels, which is the internationally recognized territorial boundary demarcating where sovereign waters extend.

Britain may have been testing China's resolve regarding its recent claims to the Paracels.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As someone who lives on a first-strike military target here in the Pacific, if the US/UK/ and China start playing war for real, color me very nervous!!