U.S. destroyer sent to Chinese waters as North Korea crisis deepens

Chinese military lodges stern representations to Japan over latter's Defence White Paper

Chinese military lodges stern representations to Japan over latter's Defence White Paper

A US Navy destroyer recently sailed near Mischief Reef in the disputed South China Sea in a freedom of navigation operation.

China has voiced discontent with the United States after an American warship sailed near an artificial island in the disputed South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement that the USA move undermined Chinese sovereignty and security and endangered the safety of front-line personnel from both sides.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close toMischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

Under former President Obama, the United States suspended FONOPs in the South China Sea for three years between 2012 and 2015, during which time Beijing made massive strides towards militarizing the area.

China reiterated that the US provocation will force PLA to take further measures to strengthen homeland defense capacity.

China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the US over the Navy's latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China's man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea.

"Even though Singapore is not a direct claimant, it has interests in the South China Sea", said Kang Lin, a researcher with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies.

This decision came after the China-ASEAN Framework for the South China Sea's code of conduct was initiated.

However, on Friday, China's Foreign Ministry protested against the voyage of the United States naval vessel in what it keeps claiming are Chinese territorial waters.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing over how to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions rose as the U.S. sent a navy destroyer into waters claimed by China. China has called on South Korea and the U.S.to suspend large scale military exercises in return for the North halting its programs in order to facilitate talks.

At a time when China and South-East Asian countries have agreed to solve and manage the South China Sea issue through bilateral talks and to avoid influence by non-regional forces, the U.S. behaviour shows that Washington wants to maintain its presence in the region, instead of solving the issue, Zhou said. "Hindi naman nila sinabi na ititigil ang pag-i-improve sa pag-reclaim tulad ng Subi Reef Mischief Reef at isa pa, we will leave it at that, hindi naman natin sila mautusan na tigilan nila", Lorenzana said. Yet China apparently still claims the nine-dash line or exclusive economic zones (EEZs) from the Spratly features it occupies and has threatened to use force to back its claim.

"And the point of that is to demonstrate that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

China and the Asean countries are focusing on strengthening cooperation to promote comprehensive and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and jointly develop regional rules.

A Navy official confirmed the operation to Fox News, saying that a US Navy P-8 reconnaissance plane flew nearby to monitor the operation, but stayed outside of the airspace claimed by China.

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