China strongly dissatisfied by USA warships entering South China Sea

Sergio Conner
February 12, 2019

Shortly after that operation, China accused the U.S. of trespassing in its territorial waters - and said it had deployed missiles "capable of targeting medium and large ships".

A U.S. official said the warships had approached the islands on Monday to counter Chinese claims of domination over the entire South China Sea.

Beijing accused the U.S. of entering Chinese waters without permission and engaging in provocations that threaten China's sovereignty. 'The Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition'.

Two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers - the USS Spruance and the USS Preble - conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation on Monday, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts in the contested Spratly Islands. A spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, accused the U.S. of entering Chinese waters without permission and engaging in provocations that threaten China's sovereignty, the South China Morning Post reported.

China says the bases are essential for self-defense and accused the United States of ramping up tensions in the region by sending battleships and warplanes close to the disputed islands.

The operation was the US's latest attempt to counter what it sees as China's mission to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters where Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian navies operated.

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Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam also have territorial claims in the region.

"All operations are designed in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows", said Doss.

Tensions have been high for years between Washington and Beijing in the South China Sea, with the us regularly drawing Chinese ire. In January, the destroyer USS McCampbell sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands. In September, a Chinese warship came within just 45 yards of a USA destroyer, raising concerns about the possibility of tensions boiling over into conflict.

Top US officials have attacked China for everything from human rights abuses to cyber espionage in America.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal, Mischief Reef, and the adjacent waters", Hua claimed.

China defends its construction as necessary for self-defence and says it is the United States that is responsible for ratcheting up tensions in the region by sending warships and military planes close to islands Beijing claims.

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