Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

China protests U.S. warship approaching Meiji reef

China protests U.S. warship approaching Meiji reef

"As you all know, U.S. forces will operate in the Asia-Pacific region".

According to unnamed United States officials, the USS John S McCain sailed close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, the string of islets where China is building new facilities, paving the way for Beijing to deploy an array of military assets in the region.

North Korea says it needs long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warhead they could carry as deterrence against a possible American aggression. It's true in the South China Sea.

The South China Morning Post ran an editorial in late July denouncing USA freedom of navigation patrols as "ineffective" because they don't seem to have influenced Beijing's behavior at all, and yet also "risky" because they might push Beijing too far.

The Chinese government urges the United States to immediately stop provocative activities in the South China Sea, which impede bilateral relations and mutual trust between the armed forces of the two countries, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several southeast Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

China's "nine-dash line" - its claimed territorial waters that extend hundreds of miles to the south and east of its island province of Hainan - abut its neighbors' claims and, in some cases, encroach upon them.

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The Spratlys are about 600 miles from the Chinese coast.

The Chinese Defense Ministry said Friday that a "joint effort" by China and other countries to address the territorial disputes have yielded "signs of positive developments".

"Its behaviour has violated the Chinese law and relevant global law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, disrupted peace, security and order of the relevant waters and put in jeopardy the facilities and personnel on the Chinese islands, and thus constitutes a serious political and military provocation". Beijing called the move a "serious political and military provocation".

"The US destroyer's actions have violated Chinese and global laws, as well as severely harmed China's sovereignty and security", it said.

"But provocative actions by the United States like this one have seriously harmed mutual strategic trust, and caused difficulties and obstacles in developing military-to-military relations".

The South China Sea is crucial for Chinese foreign trade, serving as a major transportation route for minerals, energy and Chinese-made goods.

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