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China lodges representations with U.S. over destroyer's trespass on territorial waters
12 October 2017, 12:26 | Darnell Patrick
US warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move
A United States Navy destroyer sailed close to islands being claimed by China in South China Sea on Tuesday, Reuters said in an exclusive report quoting three USA government officials.
"China will continue to take resolute measures to protect Chinese sovereign territory and maritime interests", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Turning to the North Korean nuclear threat, Noh said, "Bilateral cooperation is more important than ever under the shared view that North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles pose obstacles to achieving peace in northeast Asia and the national interests of South Korea and China".
China's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it sent a warship, two fighter jets and a helicopter to warn the USA destroyer away, calling the move a "provocation".
In July, the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem conducted a "freedom of navigation exercise" around Triton Island in the Paracel archipelago, which is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan. China regards a major part of the sea as its territory though there are contesting claims by four other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines. The Chinese military will further strengthen its naval and air defense capability to safeguard its sovereignty and security, the ministry said.
Expressing firm opposition to the USA move, Hua said China will continue to take resolute measures to protect its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests.
That agreement was signed after a United States destroyer sailed near a man-made island constructed by China as part of another "freedom of navigation" operation meant to challenge Beijing's territorial claims.
Twelve nautical miles mark internationally recognized territorial limits. "China is firmly opposed to that and has lodged stern representations with the USA".
China claims the South China Sea and its islands virtually in their entirety.
The United States has said it would like to see more worldwide participation in freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of Chinese people arriving South Korea for medical purposes declined 24.7 percent on-year during the January-June period.
Trump's visit to China will reciprocate a trip to the United States made in April by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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