The USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), an upgraded guided missile cruiser, has reportedly transited the waters of the Spratley Islands, a group of artificial and natural reefs fortified by the People’s Liberation Army of China. Chinese state-owned media made this statement:
“Southern Theater spokesperson Tian Junli Air Force Colonel said that on November 29, the USS “Chancelosville” guided missile cruiser was not approved by the Chinese government. Illegally intruding into the waters adjacent to China’s Nansha islands and reefs, the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army organized naval and air forces to track and monitor and warn and drive away. The actions of the U.S. military have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security, which is another ironclad evidence of its pursuit of navigation hegemony and militarization of the South China Sea. China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters. The theater troops maintain a high level of alert at all times and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
The United States Navy has not commented on the incident yet.
This is the second high-profile transit for the Chancellorsville since August 28th, 2022, when the ship sailed through the Taiwan Strait following former- U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island nation on August 2nd. The last U.S. ship to sail near the disputed Spratleys was USS Benfold (DDG 65) in July of 2022.
The People’s Republic of China lays illegal claim to both the Spratley and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, where it has fortified several dozen radar sites, surface-to-air missile sites, and airfields to wrest control of the region from other countries that lay similar claims such as the Philippines and Vietnam.
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser in service in the United States Navy. She is named for the Battle of Chancellorsville of the Civil War, which was a victory for the Confederate States Army. Until 30 December 2011, the ship was operationally part of Carrier Strike Group Seven. In 2010 she was administratively under the command of Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific. Currently, she is assigned to Carrier Strike Group Five and is deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
Chancellorsville carries guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons with anti-air, anti-surface and anti-subsurface capabilities. She also carries two Seahawk Light airborne multi-purpose system (LAMPS) helicopters focused on anti-submarine warfare.
With the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 in January 2021, The Naming Commission has been tasked by Congress to develop plans to “remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense,” which may result in the ship’s eventual renaming. In September 2022, The Naming Commission recommended the renaming of Chancellorsville and oceanographic survey ship USNS Maury (T-AGS-66), with the new names to be decided by the Secretary of the Navy. (Wiki)