Beijing says USA destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

  • Beijing says USA destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

Beijing says USA destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

A U.S. warship sailed close to a Chinese man-made island in the disputed South China Sea in an operation that challenged China's vast territorial claims in busy global waters, a U.S. Navy official said Thursday.

It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop" conducted during Mr Trump's presidency, with China reacting angrily to a similar move last month.

In a statement in Beijing, Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Gen Shuang called upon the US administration to refrain from any further action detrimental to the China-US mutual trust and regional stability.

A Chinese frigate has warned off a U.S. destroyer carrying out a new freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, which is nearly entirely claimed by China.

The country's Defense Ministry also lambasted the USA move, calling it a "provocative act" that had seriously damaged mutual trust.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, U.S. officials have revealed the ship carried out the "freedom of navigation operation" within 12 nautical miles of the artificial island.

"All operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows", she said.

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the US side", the ministry said in a statement.

"China holds indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and surrounding waters", Beijing's defense ministry said. Although the Philippines has taken steps to improve ties with China under its current leader, Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Friday "we don't find (the sail-by) objectionable".

McCain was sent close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, a direct challenge to China's disputed territorial claims to the area.

The United States has criticized China's construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea, and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement. "But China's own reclamation work did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys".

"Vietnam has always been the country in Asean that has the strongest suspicions of Beijing. because it shares both a maritime and land border with China", Zhang said.

This, after the Asian Maritime Transparency Institute (AMTI) in Washington D.C. published photos Wednesday showing continuing land reclamation in the South China Sea.

China has constructed airstrips and hangars and protected harbors for the air and naval units in the Paracel Islands. It is also believed to be rich in natural resources, including oil. An estimated $5 trillion in annual trade passes through the waterway.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing over how to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions rose as the U.S. sent a navy destroyer into waters claimed by China.