China protests after USA warship sails near island

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2017

China's foreign ministry said a USA navy destroyer that carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday in the South China Sea had violated worldwide and Chinese law and seriously harmed Beijing's sovereignty and security.

A United States defense official said the plan was for the destroyer to sail within 6 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, one of the artificial islands built by China in the Spratlys.

China had also constructed several new facilities, including what appeared to be a large administrative building in a newly made clearing on the island.

China's military has warned freedom of navigation patrols by the United States in the South China Sea will cause it to boost Chinese defence capacity in the disputed waters.

BEIJING-China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the USA over the Navy's latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China's man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea.

China's Defense Ministry said two Chinese warships "jumped into action" and warned the U.S. ship to leave, labelling the move a "provocation" that seriously harms mutual trust, Reuters said.

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.

THERE is a renewed call from the rest of the world urging China to respect the year-old decision of the Permanent Arbitration Court (PAC) and compliance with the ruling that invalidated China's vast claims to the disputed waters.

Donald Trump has also impacted on US-China relations with his insistence that Beijing rein in North Korea. "Hindi naman nila sinabi na ititigil ang pag-i-improve sa pag-reclaim tulad ng Subi Reef Mischief Reef at isa pa, we will leave it at that, hindi naman natin sila mautusan na tigilan nila", Lorenzana said.

China resolutely opposed the U.S. "show of force", it added.

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The dispute over the McCain revolves around China's claim of sovereignty to the Spratlys, one of many quarrels in the contentious region.

This decision came after the China-ASEAN Framework for the South China Sea's code of conduct was initiated.

The US' fonop comes at a time when tensions are running high in the Asia-Pacific region.

AMTI was reacting to the recent claims of Foreign Ministers Alan Peter Cayetano and Wang Yi that China's reclamation activities had long ceased.

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