US Navy destroyer conducts operation in South China Sea

North Korea war

The US navy destroyer, which sailed closed to the island claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, has violated worldwide law and endangered China's national security, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

United States officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S McCain travelled to within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

Asked to comment on the challenges PLAN faces in the South China Sea, in particular those posed by the U.S. Navy, commanding officer of Yulin Captain Hu Luyang said it was fine for the American Navy to patrol the area in the global waters.

The operation occurred at an awkward and tense moment in the region, amid the war of words between the United States and North Korea.

This, after the Asian Maritime Transparency Institute (AMTI) in Washington D.C. published photos Wednesday showing continuing land reclamation in the South China Sea.

China has blasted the US Navy for sending yet another warship close to Chinese-held territories in the South China Sea، saying it amounted to a breach of China's sovereignty، according to "Press TV".

It also comes as US President Donald Trump is seeking China's cooperation to rein in North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

"China has indisputable sovereignty of the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters and such a move severely undermines China's sovereignty and security, and severely endangers the safety of frontline personnel of both sides", he said.

"China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests", Geng said. The Department of Foreign Affairs did not comment further on the issue.

"However, some parties from outside continue to meddle in the region under the guise of free navigation", Geng said.

"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" the newspaper's source said. China said in July that its navy had the right to pass though a strait linking it with the Pacific Ocean, after one of its warships entered the area.

The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and they are separate from political considerations.

A leading USA think tank, meanwhile, released a new report documenting what it said was continuing reclamation work on Chinese-controlled islands in the area despite a recent claim by China's foreign minister that such work had stopped two years ago.

China, which claims virtually the entire South China Sea, routinely protests such operations.

The archipelago is claimed in its entirety by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines.

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