China says US aims to ‘stir up trouble’ with naval sail-by

  • China says US aims to ‘stir up trouble’ with naval sail-by

China says US aims to ‘stir up trouble’ with naval sail-by

Reacting to the US' move, China accused Washington of trespassing in its territorial waters. 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 on Monday accused the United States of trying to "stir up trouble" by sending two U.S. destroyers near disputed South China Sea islands.

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

"All operations are designed in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows", Doss added, arguing "that is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe".

The report said two guided-missile destroyers passed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, a maneuver the US uses to assert that a waterway is free to worldwide transit.

Hua, speaking on behalf of her government, demanded that the U.S.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

China's claim was largely discredited by an worldwide arbitration tribunal three years ago, but Beijing has rejected the ruling.

The Chinese military has since bolstered its presence in the region through deploying surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, jamming technology, and other defence systems to Chinese-occupied territories.

The U.S. has conducted several freedom of navigation patrols in recent months. In January, the destroyer USS McCampbell sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands.

China then accused the United States of trespassing, and Chinese media announced it had deployed a "far-reaching anti-ship ballistic missile", the DF-26, that was "capable of targeting medium and large ships". American warships have also sailed through the strait separating mainland China from democratically run Taiwan.

The rising military tension comes against the backdrop of an increasingly bitter trade war between China and the US.

China's foreign ministry issued an angry response.

It remains to be seen if Monday's operation will impact the negotiations.

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