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US denies China's allegations of naval intrusion in the South China Sea

In a dramatic escalation of territorial disputes, China has accused the United States of violating its sovereign waters by alleging that the USS Gabrielle Giffords "illegally intruded" near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The People's Liberation Army Southern Theater claimed that a Chinese naval force was deployed to monitor the American warship's movements, accusing the U.S.

of deliberately disrupting the situation in the region.
The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet swiftly denied the allegations, asserting that the USS Gabrielle Giffords was "conducting routine operations in international waters ... consistent with international law." This rebuttal comes amidst a backdrop of rising tensions between China and the Philippines, with naval and coast guard confrontations intensifying around the disputed shoal.
Dwarfed by China's military prowess, the Philippines has sought American assistance in navigating these territorial conflicts. Earlier this year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expanded U.S. military presence in the country and initiated joint sea and air patrols with the United States. However, China has consistently accused the U.S. of meddling in waters far from its shores, branding America as the primary instigator of regional tensions.
"The U.S. deliberately disrupted the situation in the South China Sea, seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security, seriously undermined regional peace and stability, and seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, fully demonstrating that the U.S. is the biggest threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea," declared the Chinese military's Southern Theater in a strongly-worded statement.

The South China Sea has long been a contentious area, with multiple nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei, claiming sovereignty over various territories. China's expansive claims, marked by the construction of military installations on artificial islands, have heightened geopolitical tensions.
As the USS Gabrielle Giffords becomes the focal point of this latest dispute, the U.S. Navy reaffirms its commitment to upholding a "free and open

Indo-Pacific region