The U.S. military said one of its warships sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sunday, angering Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world's two biggest economies.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has accused the USA 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.
The maneuvers on Sunday of the destroyer sought, according to the U.S. fleet in the Pacific, to respond to "excessive maritime claims and preserve access to roads as mandated by worldwide law".
Earlier in the month, a United States destroyer had conducted drills with a Japanese aircraft carrier along with two Indian naval ships and a Philippine patrol vessel in the waterways in the South China Sea.
Earlier this month, two U.S. warships entered waters adjacent to Gaven and Chigua reefs in the Spratlys, sparking fury from China. Routine U.S. Air Force patrols are not provocative but will press on to ensure everybody can fly where global laws allow them to, he said.
MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, May 21, said the public may "draw (their own) conclusion" on whether China's imposition of its annual fishing moratorium in the disputed South China Sea is objectionable.
The U.S. Navy's freedom of navigation program is created to underscore excessive maritime claims by any country.
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Randy Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said earlier this month China's militarization of disputed islands in the South China Sea are calculated to seek control over the waterway.
This, despite the presence of China's Ocean E-Station meant to monitor all activity at sea.
There have been USA and Philippine concerns that in the future China might engage in similar dredging operations to create an artificial island around Scarborough Reef.
An expert with the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies has warned of a looming collapse of crucial South China Sea fisheries due to overfishing and development projects. China deplores and firmly opposes such moves.
China imposed retaliatory tariff hikes on $60 billion of American goods, and in the USA the price of soybeans fell to a 10-year low on fears of a protracted trade war.
In a decades-long dispute, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan challenge China's claim over different patches of the body of water.
"We strongly urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative actions, so as not to undermine Sino-U.S. relations and regional peace and stability", stated Kang. "China will continue to take all necessary measures to defend national sovereignty and security, and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea".