Beijing claims US destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

The Chinese military "immediately sent out warships" with two missile frigates identifying the USA naval destroyer and warning it away from Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, which China calls the Nansha Islands, according to China's foreign ministry.

With the concerted efforts of countries in the region, the situation in the South China Sea has stabilised, he said.

A spokesman said: "The US destroyer's actions have violated Chinese and worldwide laws, as well as severely harmed China's sovereignty and security".

It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" during Trump's presidency. Nicole Schwegman said all Navy operations "are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

The Trump administration has vowed to conduct more robust South China Sea operations. The reef is part of a string of highly strategic islets and shoals where Beijing has built artificial islands to stage military bases.

The SSF is also responsible for keeping an eye on the resource-rich South China Sea where China is involved in maritime disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam, among other nations.

The sprawling base on the coast of the South China Sea is one of the three major bases of PLAN, which now is poised to expand in a major way.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang accused Japan of meddling in the South China Sea issue, saying China has lodged solemn representations to the Japanese side.

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Beijing is sensitive to even a veiled reference by ASEAN to its reclamation of seven reefs and its military installations in the South China Sea, which it claims in nearly its entirety despite the competing claims of five other countries.

It comes amid soaring tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Kim Jong-un's missile programme, and as the United Nations is urging China to increase pressure on North Korea.

"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" he said. "And that there is this freedom of navigation", he said.

It adds that on Sunday, China scored a coup when ASEAN ministers issued a diluted statement on the dispute and agreed to its terms on talks at the Manila meeting.

China's "nine-dash line" - its claimed territorial waters that extend hundreds of miles to the south and east of its island province of Hainan - abut its neighbors' claims and, in some cases, encroach upon them.

Beijing has reclaimed land in massive dredging operations, turning sandbars into islands equipped with airfields, ports and lighthouses.

"About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. Brunei claims an exclusive economic zone over this area", the CIA Factbook says.

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