China slams US Navy's new 'provocation' in South China Sea

China slams US Navy's new 'provocation' in South China Sea

The US navy destroyer, which sailed closed to the island claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, has violated global law and endangered China's national security, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

A US Navy official told The Associated Press that the destroyer USS John S. McCain sailed past Mischief Reef on Thursday.

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 has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests", Geng said.

"At this time, if you ask who is carrying out reclamation, it is definitely not China - perhaps it is the country that brings up the issue that is doing it", Yi said.

An angry Beijing warned off a USA warship after it sailed near an artificial island in the disputed South China Sea in the latest operation aimed at loosening the Asian giant's grip on the strategic waterway.

The reef is part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which is the scene of rival claims between China and neighbouring countries.

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The Center for Strategic and International Studies's (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) has published new satellite photos dated August 5, 2017 on China's expansion in the Paracel Islands, which are being claimed by Beijing, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

On Friday, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman said "some foreign forces move against the tide, and continue to make trouble under "freedom of navigation".

He also voiced resentment at a call by Australia, Japan and the United States to enforce the arbitral ruling and for a legally binding code of conduct in the vital sea lanes, saying: "The problem of territorial dispute is between Philippines and China".

After a typhoon washed out the bridge in October past year, China began to undertake reclamation anew on the southern end of North Island and "built a retaining wall around the [2.73 hectares] of new land to prevent further erosion". "To this end, Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels".

The Trump administration has vowed to conduct more robust South China Sea operations.

China occupies 20 outposts in the chain and improvements include the addition of harbors, helipads, an airstrip, hangars and a surface-to-air missile battery, the report said. It is also believed to be rich in natural resources, including oil. Around £3.85 trillion of ship-borne trade passes through the area every year.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing over how to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions rose as the United States sent a navy destroyer into waters claimed by China.

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