Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

U.S. warship near China-claimed islands irks Beijing

U.S. warship near China-claimed islands irks Beijing

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson at a news briefing in Beijing today said a guided missile destroyer intrusion in its territorial water is the violation of worldwide laws and damaged China's sovereignty.

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". The Paracel archipelago is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while the Spratly Islands are additionally contested by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Tensions flared in 2014 when China installed exploratory oil rigs in the vicinity.

China claims the South China Sea and its islands virtually in their entirety.

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Dotted with small islands, reefs and shoals, the South China Sea is home to a string of messy territorial disputes that pit multiple countries against each other.

China immediately dispatched military vessels and aircraft for identification and warned the USA ship to leave, Hua said.

China's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it sent a warship, two fighter jets and a helicopter to warn the US destroyer away, calling the move a "provocation".

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According to the report, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chafee sailed near Chinese-controlled features in Paracel Islands but not within the range of 12 nautical miles. In the a year ago, the Navy has conducted several operations to challenge Beijing's stance.

The two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers that flew late Tuesday were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement Wednesday.

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