China warns of counter measures after USA warship sails through SCS

21 January, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • China vows

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said expressed dissatisfaction with the USA action and China would take "necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty", the South China Morning Post reported.

Huangyan Dao is also known as Scarborough Shoal, the ring of reefs which lies about 230 kilometres from the Philippines in the South China Sea (SCS), where Beijing's claims are hotly contested by other nations.

While the administration of US President Donald Trump seeks the assistance of Beijing in diminishing a nuclear threat posed by the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), the USS Hopper, a missile destroyer, sailed inside global maritime limits in the South China Sea claimed by China, approaching Huangyan Island, according to Reuters.

"The Chinese navy carried out identification and verification procedures in accordance with the law and warned the USA vessel to leave", Lu said.

The U.S. military put countering China and Russian Federation at the center of a new national defense strategy unveiled on Friday.

Wu said a Chinese missile destroyer had to drive off the USS Hopper, a USA guided missile destroyer, after the ship ventured near Huangyan Island, which is near the western coast of the Philippines.

Beijing claims virtually the entire South China Sea, a vital shipping route and a rich fishing ground with possibly large oil and natural gas deposits.

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"We hope that the USA respects China's sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing", Wu said.

The U.S. military has a longstanding position that such operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and that they are separate from political considerations.

The U.S. Navy periodically conducts freedom of navigation operations, or FONOPs, near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

"We firmly oppose any country using navigation and overflight freedom as an excuse to hurt China's sovereignty and security interests", Lu said.

The US has slammed China for constructing islands and military installations in the region, arguing they could be used to obstruct free trade routes.

The reef is home to a major fishery, and China's 2012 seizure of the territory sparked major tensions with Filipino fishermen.

Unlike some of China's man-made islands elsewhere in the South China Sea, Scarborough Shoal is uninhabited and does not have a runway or any military fortifications.

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