In a bizarre exchange of what may or may not be fake news, today China's Global Times claimed that the Chinese People's Liberation Army "expelled a US warship that trespassed into China's territorial waters in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea on Thursday, near an ongoing Chinese military exercise zone that reportedly featured live-fire anti-ship ballistic missile launches."
The USS Mustin, a US Navy guided missile destroyer, trespassed into the China's territorial waters in the Xisha Islands on Thursday, and the PLA Southern Theater Command dispatched naval and air forces to track, identify and warn it leave, said Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesperson for the PLA Southern Theater Command on early Friday.
The report went on to say that "the US ignored the rules of the international law, repeatedly stirred up troubles in the South China Sea, exercised navigational hegemony in the name of "freedom of navigation," seriously undermined China's sovereignty and security interests, and severely sabotaged the international navigation order in the South China Sea."
The allegation sparked an immediate response from the US military which said that the Global Times claimed was "without evidence" or basically fake news. According to American Military News, the 7th Fleet confirmed the destroyer performed a freedom of navigation operation despite Chinese territorial claims to the island chain.
The press release comes after China's Global Times state media outlet reported Chinese People's Liberation Army claims, without evidence, that they expelled the U.S. warship.