China fumes as USA warship enters SCS

China fumes as USA warship enters SCS

China fumes as USA warship enters SCS

"China is strongly dissatisfied with the [U.S. action] and will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty", the second spokesman, Lu Kang, said.

Meanwhile in South China Sea, The USS Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island on the night of January 17 without alerting Beijing, the foreign ministry said. China claims undisputed sovereignty over Huangyan Island and its adjacent waters, although they are also claimed by the Philippines and Taiwan.

Lu observed that the US Navy vessel violated sovereignty and security interests in Beijing, and acted in a threatening manner against Chinese vessels and personnel in the area.

"We hope that the USA respects China's sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing", Wu said.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said a Chinese missile frigate moved to identify and verify the USA vessel and warned it to leave the area, according to the Associated Press.

The USS Hopper recently entered the US Navy's 7th Fleet area of operations, where the ship is on an "independent deployment", according to a recent statement on the Navy's website. While deployed, the ship will conduct theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations.

Russia's foreign minister described a new U.S. national defense strategy as "confrontational" after Washington singled out China and Russian Federation as growing threats.

China's defence ministry dismissed those claims on Saturday, saying "the situation in the South China Sea has steadily stabilised".

"The United States conducts routine and regular FONOPs (Freedom of Navigation Operations), as we have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future", Navy Lt. Cmdr.

"The South China Sea will be the ground on which the two powers will wrestle for military power", Zhang Jie said. In recent years it has been accused of militarising the waters by building artificial islands capable of hosting military facilities.

Though China claims sole custody of nearly the entire energy-rich and strategically-important South China Sea, several other nations such as Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims.

"China always respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea all countries are entitled to under the worldwide law".

A Pentagon statement downplayed the issue by not directly referring to the incident, while asserting that US Navy patrols around the world regularly carry out "freedom of navigation" missions.

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