China condemns US warship near South China Sea island as ‘serious provocation’

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement late Sunday night that China had dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel

By: PTI | Beijing | Published:July 3, 2017 8:22 am
South China Sea, United States South China Sea Islands.(Source: Google Maps)

China has scrambled naval ships and military jets to “warn off” a US missile destroyer sailing close to an artificial island built by it in the disputed South China Sea and denounced Washington’s move as a “serious political and military provocation”. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement late Sunday night that China had dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel.

Sunday, the missile destroyer USS Stethem “trespassed China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands”, state run Xinhua news agency reported. The US behaviour constitutes a serious political and military provocation, Lu said, stressing that the Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed it. Stethem passed less than 22 kms from tiny Triton Island in the Paracel Islands archipelago, which China calls Xisha islands. The island chain is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

While China claims sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea, the other countries to partially counterclaim over the area are Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. This is the second US naval ship to have passed the disputed islands after President Donald Trump came to power. The US has been periodically sending the naval ships and planes to the South China Sea to assert freedom of navigation challenging China’s claims of sovereignty.

China comes out with similar reaction every time the US naval ships pass through the area. Lu said the Islands are an inherent part of the Chinese territory, noting that in accordance with the Law of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Chinese government promulgated the baseline of the territorial sea off the Xisha Islands in 1996

“The relevant Chinese law has explicit provisions on foreign military vessels’ entry into the territorial sea of China,” Lu said. Under the pretext of “navigation freedom,” the US once again sent a military vessel into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without China’s approval, Lu said.

He said the behaviour of US has violated the Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China’s sovereignty, disrupted peace, security and order of the relevant waters and put in jeopardy the facilities and personnel on the Chinese islands. China says there are problems for international navigation through the SCS but objects to defence vessels going through it.

Working together, China and ASEAN member states have cooled down and improved the situation in the South China Sea Lu said charging US of deliberately stirring up troubles in the South China Sea. The US is running in the opposite direction from countries in the region who aspire for stability, cooperation and development, he said

“The Chinese side strongly urges the US side to immediately stop such kind of provocative operations that violate China’s sovereignty and threaten its security,” he stressed, saying the Chinese side will continue to take all necessary means to defend national sovereignty and security.

The US missile destroyer sailing close to the contentious island chain is the latest in a series of events that add to the growing unease in the relations between the two countries. Last week Trump authorised a new arms sale to Taiwan, which China considers a rebel province, besides slapping sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of laundering North Korean cash.

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  1. K
    Kushal Kumar
    Jul 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    This Vedic astrology writer has already on 16 May 2017 alerted that during about 24 June to September , more so during 19 August to 4 September in present year 2017 , chances of WW3 could get more likely while global economy may be in crisis or collapse besides natural disasters. These predictions of 16 May 2017 in article - "Is World War III round the corner ?" - were published in Summer ( June) 2017 issue of The Astrologer's Notebook , a quarterly print Newsletter from North Port , Florida. Just reproducing the related part from the article - " The global events predicted in this article could likely begin to show up in mild measure from about 24 June and after in present year 2017 to grow up gradually for a final show during 19 August to 4 September with peak hype on 30 August ( it could be 29 in the west)". The goings on from last week of June and after in 2017 in relation to China , US and others across the globe , would suggest that this writer's alert is ight.
    1. L
      l s
      Jul 3, 2017 at 11:27 am
      India should also send a warship to this place. This the only way to treat the land hungry China. China is acting too smart now days. Send a warship. Do things that will hurt these chinese.
      1. P
        papa imran
        Jul 3, 2017 at 12:30 pm
        we will not sit by if you make trouble with china / if china requests loyal and trusted brother pak
        1. S
          Jul 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm
          Slave and begger nation Porkistan crossing the border and writing here. Stupid Get out.
      2. I
        Jul 3, 2017 at 10:26 am
        If 2 superpowers not come together with their friendly countries to stop madly behaving this country later it will be very dangerous to this world. Now it says south China sea later it will start claiming all small countries bordering to it and all Island nations in south china sea all belonging to that country historically.
        1. P
          papa imran
          Jul 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm
          if you ever join another country to make trouble with china then we will join china to do the same the chinese are very good people and are loyal and kind also they are not two faced why do you disturb the peace in the region / its time you indians calm down and stop this war talk /
          1. S
            Jul 3, 2017 at 3:52 pm
            go and die with chine. Porki
        2. K
          Jul 3, 2017 at 9:46 am
          1. S
            Jul 3, 2017 at 8:39 am
            Ho..Ho...Ho. ies have wet their p again. Where is mighty PLA? Probably running to and from LOO.
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