USA dares China, takes naval warships to Chinese waters without permission

US destroyer in South China Sea called'provocation by Beijing

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the actions of the USS John S McCain had violated Chinese and worldwide law, "seriously" impairing the country's sovereignty and security.

The USS John S McCain came within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, an artificial island that Beijing claims as its own.

It continued that the United States sailing had violated both worldwide and Chinese law and, at the same time, had posed a threat to Beijing's security and sovereignty.

China expressed "strong dissatisfaction" Friday, after a USA warship sailed near an artificial island in the strategic South China Sea.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen recently after North Korea carried out two nuclear tests past year and two ICBM tests last month, prompting a strong round of United Nations sanctions.

"Chinese Navy stated that it identified the US warship, warned and expelled it as some parties from outside continue to meddle in the region under the guise of "free navigation", Geng said".

Geng said that the will of the Chinese government to safeguard national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is firm.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a stark warning to North Korea on Wednesday, telling Pyongyang that it should stop any actions that would lead to the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people".

Twelve nautical miles marks the territorial limits recognized internationally.

The reef is part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which is the scene of rival claims between China and neighboring countries.

Southeast Asian countries were seen to be making progress in the South China Sea dispute when foreign ministers from China and ten ASEAN countries endorsed the Conduct Code Framework in the South China Sea on August 6.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea and is now building multiple artificial islands there to control the area, which more than half of the world's annual cargo fleet passes through.

The US، however، says it supports none of the territorial claims and only sends the warships to protect what it calls "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea، which acts as a strategic transfer route for Chinese goods and is believed to be rich in natural resources. Nicole Schwegman said all Navy operations "are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

It adds that on Sunday, China scored a coup when ASEAN ministers issued a diluted statement on the dispute and agreed to its terms on talks at the Manila meeting.

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

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