United States destroyer in South China Sea called 'provocation' by Beijing

United States destroyer in South China Sea called 'provocation' by Beijing

The freedom of navigation operation was the third of its kind carried out by the United States since Prez Trump took office in January.

China has protested against a United States Navy warship sailed in the South China Sea.

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the United States side", the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted in its official website late Thursday.

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

A US Navy official told The Associated Press that the destroyer USS John S. McCain sailed past Mischief Reef on Thursday but gave no details.

The South China Sea is crucial for Chinese foreign trade, serving as a major transportation route for minerals, energy and Chinese-made goods. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the USA official told AFP a Chinese frigate sent radio warnings at least 10 times to the USS McCain.

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

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

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USA officials admitted earlier that USS John S. McCain sailed in a freedom of navigation operation within 12 nautical miles of Mischief/Panganiban Reef while a US P-3 patrol plane flew overhead.

They sought compliance with an arbitration ruling past year that invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea. It's true in the South China Sea.

Beijing is tangled in a web of territorial disputes in the areas with five regional nations - Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Although China opposes inclusion of the sea disputes in global conferences, partly to prevent the U.S. and other Western governments from intervening, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japan's new top diplomat, Taro Kono, expressed concern over aggressive actions in the waters.

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.

China's defence ministry said two Chinese warships "jumped into action" and warned the U.S. ship to leave, labelling the move a "provocation" that seriously harms mutual trust.

U.S. national security advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster had said recently that "China is not doing enough on North Korea which continues to violate worldwide norms by conducting missile tests".

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