United States warship sails close to South China Sea island, China 'displeased'

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. Mc Cain sailing in the waters off the Korean Peninsula

China is expressing its "strong dissatisfaction" with the United States over the Navy's latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China's man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the trespassing of a United States missile destroyer in China's territorial waters violated Chinese and worldwide law, severely harmed Chinese sovereignty and security and seriously endangered the lives of soldiers at the front line.

The warship spat comes as a war of words between the USA and North Korea escalates and President Donald Trump pushes China to do more to reign in Pyongyang's threats. Investors have in recent days fled so-called risk assets on concerns a dispute between the US and North Korea will end in a full-fledged war. That occurred around Triton Island in the Paracel archipelago, which is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Responding to the so-called incursion, China's foreign ministry said it "severely harmed China's sovereignty and security".

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak to the press about the matter.

China's Defense Ministry said two Chinese warships "jumped into action" and warned the US ship to leave, labeling the move a "provocation" that seriously harms mutual trust.

The U.S.is reportedly concerned that China's construction of artificial islands and build-up of military facilities in the South China Sea are meant to restrict nautical movement in the area. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area.

"That is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe", she said.

"All operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows". It is also believed to be rich in natural resources, including oil.

The operation in the contested waters comes as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese co-operation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance.

An inside view of the Chinese military over 120 years.

"The US provocation also forced the Chinese side to take measures to further enhance the national defense capability", the ministry added.

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