Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

China lodges representations with United States over destroyer's trespass on territorial waters

China lodges representations with United States over destroyer's trespass on territorial waters

China regards a major part of the sea as its territory though there are contesting claims by four other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

"In the face of repeated provocation by the United States forces, the Chinese military will further strengthen preparation for combat at sea and in the air and improve the defenses to resolutely defend national sovereignty and security interests", China's Defense Ministry said in a statement, quoted by the South China Morning Post newspaper.

The Chafee, a guided missile destroyer, entered China's territorial sea off the Xisha Islands on Tuesday and conducted a so-called "freedom of navigation" operation, without the permission of the Chinese government, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

It added that it would further strengthen its naval and air defenses.

"We demand the USA side earnestly take steps to correct its mistakes", it added.

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She also said that China already lodged a protest to the U.S. government.

United States ships have repeatedly sailed past the disputed islets in the South China Sea, triggering an angry reaction from China.

China has lodged a representation with the United States after a USA destroyer intruded into China's territorial waters in the South China Sea.

USA defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the USS Chafee carried out normal maneuvering operations that challenged "excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands. China is North Korea's neighbor and biggest trading partner. The warship allegedly carried out a "freedom of navigation" operation near the islands, according to an exclusive report by Reuters. "China urges the conscientiously respect China's sovereign territory and security interests, conscientiously respect the efforts regional countries have made to protect peace and stability in the South China Sea, and stop these wrong actions".

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