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China voices strong protest against USA warship sails in South China Sea

China voices strong protest against USA warship sails in South China Sea

China said two of its warships "jumped into action" on Thursday (10 August) to warn the US Navy to stop provoking Beijing in the name of its "freedom of navigation operation" near a disputed South China Sea island.

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said the actions of the USS John S. McCain had violated Chinese and global law, "seriously" impairing the country's sovereignty and security.

Chinese media have recently been highly critical of US responses to North Korea and said that threats will accomplish little with the Kim regime, according to The Guardian.

The Spratly islands are claimed or partly occupied by China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Brunei.

China considered this a large concession to the US, the Guardian said. "It is clear who is not willing to see stability in the South China Sea and who is the major factor pushing for militarization in the South China Sea".

According to August 9 report by AMTI, China's reclamation work did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys.

But the U.S. has snubbed that claim by sailing ships through the huge waterway.

China has been ambiguous about its precise territorial claims around such artificial islands.

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, United States officials have revealed the ship carried out the "freedom of navigation operation" within 12 nautical miles of the artificial island.

Twelve nautical miles marks the territorial limits recognised internationally.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with this", Geng said in a statement, adding that Beijing would lodge an official protest with Washington.

"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.

Geng said China "has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands (Spratly) and their adjacent waters", and called for a dialogue between Beijing and the governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries to solve the maritime dispute.

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.

But China scoffed at the United States, calling the move a "provocation" that could seriously damage the two countries' strategic trust and also create difficulties and obstacles for their defence forces, Reuters reported.