China 'drives away' USA missile destroyer for 'violating' its sovereignty

Pauline Gross
January 21, 2018

Beijing has pledged to undertake "necessary measures" after a U.S. warship reportedly entered waters in the South China Sea claimed by China.

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 worldwide maritime limits in the South China Sea claimed by China, approaching Huangyan Island, according to Reuters.

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

"China is strongly dissatisfied with the [US action] and will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty", he added, noting that the USA warship's actions were a violation of China's sovereignty and security interests.

His statement on the ministry's website continued: "We hope that the USA respects China's sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing".

The Chinese defense ministry pushed back on suggestions that the nation is using their presence in the South China Sea to become a military and economic competitor of the United States.

China seized Scarborough Shoal in 2012 after a brief stand-off with the Philippine navy.

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The United States does not claim territory in the South China Sea but has declared it has a national interest in ensuring that the territorial disputes there are resolved peacefully in accordance with worldwide law.

An airstrip, structures and buildings on China's man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea are seen from a Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force.

Tensions flared between the United States and China this weekend when a USA ship sailed into waters claimed by the Asian nation.

'The United States conducts routine and regular FONOPs, as we have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future, ' Lt. Cmdr.

China's defence ministry dismissed those claims on Saturday, saying "the situation in the South China Sea has steadily stabilised".

The South China Sea has crucial shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil, gas and other mineral deposits.

FONOP is the military's term for freedom of navigation operations.

Other reports by GizPress

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