Beijing denounces USA warship sail-by in South China Sea


Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the warship had entered waters near the shoal without China's position and the Chinese navy had warned it to leave.

The U.S. Navy has sailed a warship near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, a strategic flash point in the South China Sea claimed by China, in a move expected to stoke anger in Beijing as the world's two biggest economies remain embroiled in a trade war.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has accused the United States of violating Chinese sovereignty as a U.S. destroyer sailed in the South China Sea against the backdrop of spiralling tension between the world's two largest economies.

In response to new USA tariffs announced by President Donald Trump amid trade talks, China has adopted a more tough stance in its trade war and slapped the United States with tit-for-tat measures, stating the resumption of talks between the two economies would be pointless unless Washington revised its course.

"I must stress once again that the US warship's relevant actions have violated China's sovereignty and undermined the peace, security and good order in the relevant sea areas".

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, with China announcing it would raise tariffs on $60 billion in US merchandise from June 1 in retaliation. China deplores and firmly opposes such moves.

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Chinese clam harvesting fleets have become more frequent in the South China Sea in the last six months, satellite photos released by a U.S. think tank showed.

He also pointed out China urges the immediately stop such provocations and show its respect through concrete actions to regional countries' efforts to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. A USA military spokesman confirmed United States destroyer Preble carried out the operation.

The Preble's journey into the disputed waterway also coincided with bilateral naval drills being held in the South China Sea by the Indian and Singaporean Navies.

The United States is trying to disturb regional peace and stability by using the issue of freedom of navigation and flight, he added.

Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims in the region.

China "effectively controls" Scarborough Shoal as it has constantly kept its coast guard present at the feature since 2012, according to the transparency initiative.