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China fumes as United States warship enters SCS

21 January, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • South China Sea

The U.S. Navy regularly sails through the area to assert freedom of navigation. But since the global community doesn't recognize many claims by China in the South China Sea, including its claim to the Scarborough Shoal, the USA demonstrates its displeasure with China by conducting "freedom of navigation" operations with Navy warships.

Lu, in the statement, said "China has indisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Dao and the adjacent waters".

The missile destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, called Huangyan Island by China, on Wednesday night, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

China has laid claim to the reef for more than five years. Nicole Schwegman, a spokeswoman for the US Navy's Pacific Fleet, said after China's claim.

"The Chinese navy carried out identification and verification procedures in accordance with the law and warned the USA vessel to leave", said foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang.

The US has slammed China for constructing islands and military installations in the region, arguing they could be used to obstruct free trade routes.

"The United States conducts routine and regular FONOPs, as we have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future", Lt. Cmdr. Mattis said the US military advantage over Beijing and Moscow is "eroding". "FONOPS are created to comply with worldwide law and not threaten the lawful security interest of coastal States".

The Navy said while deployed, Hopper would conduct theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations.

"China respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea for all countries in accordance with global law, but resolutely opposes any country's move to impair China's sovereignty and security interests in the name of freedom of navigation and overflight", the spokesperson said.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has carried out extensive land reclamation work on numerous islands and reefs it claims, equipping some with airstrips and military installations.

China, which has been reinforcing its hold on the disputed SCS with military installations in the shoals and reclaimed islands, claims sovereignty over nearly all of it.

Beijing asserts sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea despite rival claims from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and others.

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