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China protests U.S. warship sailing near disputed Scarborough Shoal

China protests U.S. warship sailing near disputed Scarborough Shoal”

China has accused the United States of violating its sovereignty after a US missile destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

"We strongly urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistake and stop making such provocative moves so as to avoid undermining China-U.S. relations and regional peace and stability".

He said the Chinese Navy conducted an identification and warning process to drive the United States warship away, Xinhua news agency reported.

China's navy warned the USA vessel to leave after conducting procedures to identify it, Lu said.

However, it is also claimed by Taiwan (which is itself the subject of a sovereignty dispute with mainland China) and the Philippines.

Lu observed that the US Navy vessel violated sovereignty and security interests in Beijing, and acted in a threatening manner against Chinese vessels and personnel in the area. Chinese actions such as warnings to ships and aircraft to keep away from Scarborough Shoal, beyond the 12 nautical mile limit, (will) likely continue. But Duterte, who has chided the USA for allegedly interfering with the Philippines' internal issues, has admitted that no one can stop China from building structures on the shoal. While deployed, the ship will conduct theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations.

The small island, also known as the Scarborough Shoal, is a disputed territory also claimed by the Philippines.

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News of the encounter follows yesterday's release of a new U.S. defence strategy that says America is facing "growing threats" from China and Russian Federation.

"The South China Sea will be the ground on which the two powers will wrestle for military power".

"We do not wish to be part of a US-China intramural", presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement issued yesterday.

China says it warned off a US Navy destroyer near a group of disputed islets in the South China Sea last week. But since the global community doesn't recognize many claims by China in the South China Sea, including its claim to the Scarborough Shoal, the USA demonstrates its displeasure with China by conducting "freedom of navigation" operations with Navy warships.

Zhang said she expected to see more frequent confrontations between the U.S. and Chinese militaries in the South China Sea, with Washington putting China and Russian Federation at the centre of its new national defence strategy.

Beijing asserts sovereignty over nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbours and has rapidly built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.



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