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USA warship entered our territorial waters without permission: China

USA warship entered our territorial waters without permission: China

China on Saturday accused the USA of trespassing its territorial waters and warned taking "necessary measures" to firmly safeguard its sovereignty after an American missile destroyer sailed close to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea to assert freedom of navigation.

China Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal "without gaining permission from the Chinese government".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang was quoted by state-owned news outfit Xinhua saying "the USA warship has impaired China's sovereignty and security interests, and caused a serious threat to Chinese vessels and personnel working 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 in a statement on the ministry's website.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said: "All operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever global law allows".

"We urge the United States to respect the facts, speak and act cautiously to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea", China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a news briefing last January.

The Philippines, under former President Benigno Aquino III filed several protests against the occupation but they were ignored by China, which insisted that it has sovereignty over the shoal. Manila continues to claim sovereignty over the feature.

More news: US President Donald Trump blames Democrats for possible government shutdown

China effectively seized the shoal - a prime fishing spot - from the Philippines in 2012 after a tense standoff.

FONOP is the military's term for freedom of navigation operations.

Twelve nautical miles is the territorial limit recognised internationally. "But we firmly oppose any country using navigation and overflight freedom as an excuse to hurt China's sovereignty and security interests", he said.

The spokesman added that China has "indisputable" control over the territory. But Duterte, who has chided the United States for allegedly interfering with the Philippines' internal issues, has admitted that no one can stop China from building structures on the shoal.

"China is unlikely to dredge at Scarborough Shoal in the near term", Glaser said.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has carried out extensive land reclamation work on numerous islands and reefs it claims, equipping some with air strips and military installations. "Doing so would put at risk its improved relations with the Philippines under Duterte".


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