Two U.S. warships have sailed close to islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea - a move that could negatively impact on-going trade talks between the two nations.
The relevant action by the USA side infringed upon China's sovereignty, and undermined the peace, security, and order of the relevant waters, Hua said, adding that China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard itself.
The USS McCampbell destroyer conducted a "freedom of navigation" operation within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands five weeks ago to "challenge excessive maritime claims", according to the Pacific Fleet, which Beijing also protested.
She urged the United States to cease the "provocative actions". The operation was conducted to demonstrate that the U.S.
She demanded the USA "immediately stop its provocative actions" after the two destroyers conducted what Washington called "freedom of navigation" exercises in the area. The deployment is seen as the latest attempt by Washington to stand up to what it believes are attempts by Beijing to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and other Southeast Asian navies operate.
China's foreign ministry expressed anger on Monday after the warships sailed in the disputed South China Sea.
An unnamed U.S. official told Reuters on Monday that the two destroyers conducted a freedom of navigation exercise - the second by the United States in the region this year - within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, where Beijing has purportedly built military facilities.
Tensions have been high for years between Washington and Beijing in the South China Sea, with the USA regularly drawing Chinese ire.
"All operations are designed in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows", Doss said, adding "that is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe".
During that operation, a Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of the U.S. warship, forcing it to maneuver to avoid a collision. The Navy has carried out several FONOPS in the South China Sea in recent years, where China has built artificial islands and air strips and installed other military capabilities.
Speaking on background, a USA official said the Navy ships passed near Mischief Reef, which China has augmented with a huge land reclamation project and equipped with missiles, extensive surveillance equipment, and a military-grade airfield, even though the reef is also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
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