US Destroyer Sails Near Artificial Chinese Island in South China Sea

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 12, 2017

China has accused the United States government of violating global laws as well as severely harming Beijing's sovereignty and security when it sanctioned a U.S. navy destroyer to carry out a "freedom of navigation operation" near a disputed island in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the United States to respect its sovereignty and security interests after the USA guided missile destroyer John S. McCain approached a disputed island in the South China Sea.

China, which claims the South China Sea virtually in entirety, has protested such repeated USA military operations, which President Donald Trump's administration has continued partly to reassure allies locked in territorial rifts with Beijing.

The US administration has been prodding China to work with North Korea through its diplomatic channels to tone down Kim's nuclear ambitions but Pentagon officials, including President Trump have felt increasingly frustrated with Chinese officials. However, the USA says its patrols are aimed at showing support for free passage to vessels in global waters.

It is the third time this year that USA ships traveled within 12 nautical miles of land claimed by China, the report said.

"It is clear who is not willing to see stability in the South China Sea and who is the major factor pushing for militarisation in the South China Sea", the spokesperson said.

Two other US Navy ships approached China-claimed islands in the South China Sea in July and May.

"We told them we are a usa [ship] conducting routine operations in global waters".

"We told them we are a United States [ship] conducting routine operations in worldwide waters". USA officials say the military will continue to sail, fly and operate wherever permitted by global law.

Although China opposes inclusion of the sea disputes in global conferences, partly to prevent the U.S. and other Western governments from intervening, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japan's new top diplomat, Taro Kono, expressed concern over aggressive actions in the waters.

Chinese navy guided missile frigates "took immediate action to identify and verify the United States ship, and warned and dispelled it", the Defense Ministry said.

"The US provocation also forced the Chinese side to take measures to further enhance the national defense capability", it added.

The US is not involved in the long-seething disputes in the busy and potentially oil- and gas-rich waters involving China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The Foreign Ministry also said tensions have eased because of regional efforts.

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