Beijing says United States destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

by Wade Massey August 12, 2017, 0:15
Beijing says United States destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement that the USS John S. McCain had violated Chinese and worldwide law, undermined Chinese sovereignty and security, and endangered the safety of frontline personnel.

The spokesperson said China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and its adjacent waters and the recent acts of the U.S. warships violated worldwide law.

China has also constructed significant radar and sensor arrays on all three, positioning them close to point defense structures to provide protection against air or missile strikes.

McCain sailed near Mischief Reef in a "freedom of navigation" operation.

China has continued to reclaim areas in the disputed South China Sea, a U.S.

Vietnamese coastguard vessels also held their first joint exercises with their Japanese counterparts in June, simulating an operation to thwart illegal fishing in the South China Sea.

It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop" conducted during Trump's presidency.

The South China Sea is filled with small islands, reefs and shoals and there are many territorial disputes between countries in the area.

China's foreign ministry issued a statement labeling it a move of provocation, which quote "seriously harms mutual trust".

The islands are reportedly capable of hosting warplanes, mobile missile launchers and other military assets.

Washington's critical actions came as it courts the help of China, North Korea's ally, in taming Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions and ending its missile tests.

"The Chinese army immediately sent warships (to the area) in accordance with the law to implement the identification of the U.S. ship and warn it off", the spokesperson said.

He said there was a limit to Vietnam's approach because of the uncertainty of the Trump administration's Asia-Pacific policy and its lack of interest in challenging China on the maritime front.

The photos, with August 5, 2017 being the most recent release, showed infrastructure and land reclamation in the Tree Island and the North Island.

"They called and said "please turn around, you are in our waters", the official said.

"We told them we are a U.S. (ship) conducting routine operations in global waters", the official added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, chair of this year's Asean foreign ministers meetings, admitted that he did not want land reclamation and militarization in the South China Sea to be mentioned in the joint communiqué.

"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.

In the previous administration, the Philippines was among the major voices in the regional bloc calling for stronger wording in ASEAN statements against China and its aggression in the South China Sea.

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