China opposes U.S. move to send its warship in South China Sea

US Navy destroyer sails near disputed islands in South China Sea

United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chafee, on October 10, sailed close to Chinese-controlled area of the disputed Paracel Islands in South China Sea.

The latest United States sail-past was not as provocative as previous ones carried out since Trump took office in January. Speaking to Reuters, the U.S. officials said that the guided-missile destroyer had carried out normal manoeuvring operations "very close" to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits of the islands.

"China urges the U.S. side to respect Chinese sovereignty and security interests as well as the efforts of regional countries to maintain the peace and stability of the South China Sea", Hua added.

China's defence ministry warned it would now further strengthen its naval and air defenses.

"We demand the USA side earnestly take steps to correct its mistakes", it added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson at a news briefing in Beijing today said a guided missile destroyer intrusion in its territorial water is the violation of global laws and damaged China's sovereignty. "China urges the U.S.to conscientiously respect China's sovereign territory and security interests, conscientiously respect the efforts regional countries have made to protect peace and stability in the South China Sea, and stop these wrong actions".

The Chinese government announced the baseline of the territorial sea off the islands in 1996 under the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.

Twelve nautical miles mark internationally recognized territorial limits.

China, in turn, has accused the United States of illegally trespassing into what it sees as its territorial waters.

But he said all operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law and "demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows".

Beijing has long accused Washington of meddling in the South China Sea. Even with stepped up FONOPs this year, the Trump administration hasn't changed the fundamentals of U.S. South China Sea policy, which continues to remain agnostic about sovereignty claims and focuses exclusively on freedom of navigation, overflight, and the preservation of global law and order in the region. He will also visit South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. We urge the USA to respect Chinese sovereignty and security interests'.

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