US warship near South China Sea island serious provocation: China

Beijing dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement late Sunday night.

Published: 03rd July 2017 08:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2017 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image. Land reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands by China in the South China Sea. (Associated Press)

By AFP

BEIJING: China denounced a US warship sailing close to a disputed island in the South China Sea occupied by Beijing as a "serious political and military provocation", a  move that could further strain relations between the superpowers.

Beijing dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement late Sunday night, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The USS Stethem destroyer passed less than 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres) from tiny Triton Island in the Paracel Islands archipelago, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, a US official told AFP.

The operation, meant to demonstrate freedom of navigation in disputed waters, came just hours before a previously scheduled phone call between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

"The Chinese side strongly urges the US side to immediately stop such kind of provocative operations that violate China's sovereignty and threaten China's security," the Chinese spokesman said, adding that Beijing would continue to take all necessary means to defend national sovereignty and security, according to Xinhua.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp