Beijing claims USA destroyer violated China's sovereignty & security

Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Philippines Alan Peter Cayetano makes opening the speech of the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Foreign Ministers Meeting in Manila Philippines

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the U.S. actions violated Chinese law as well as global law, and constituted a serious political and military provocation.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday the operations are being conducted "in accordance with global law".

"China is strongly dissatisfied with this", Geng said in a statement, adding that Beijing would lodge an official protest with Washington.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain travelled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

In July, a USA warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

"The Chinese army immediately sent warships (to the area) in accordance with the law to implement the identification of the U.S. ship and warn it off", the spokesperson said.

"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" the newspaper's source said.

The Pentagon declined to provide any details but said that all operations are conducted in accordance with global law.

The official said the interactions were all "safe and professional", with the operation lasting about six hours from start to finish.

It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" during Trump's presidency.

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the U.S. side", the statement reads.

Two other US Navy ships approached China-claimed islands in the South China Sea in July and May.

An global tribunal refuted China's claim to a large swathe of the South China Sea in 2016 in a case brought by the Philippines, though Beijing has rejected the ruling. China has territorial disputes with its neighbours over the area.

China insists that a much-delayed code of conduct between it and ASEAN members over the disputed sea must not be legally binding, a demand to which Southeast Asian countries have so far acquiesced.

The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, and comes as Trump is seeking China's cooperation to rein in North Korea.

The warship spat comes as a war of words between the US and North Korea escalates and President Donald Trump pushes China to do more to reign in Pyongyang's threats.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Logan declined to comment on whether there had been a freedom of navigation sailing but he said the United States would continue to do such operations.

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