United States warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move

United States warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move

United States warship sails near South China Sea, Beijing denounces Washington's move

The Pentagon said a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer on October 10 carried out a freedom-of-navigation operation near islands claimed by China in South China Sea.

According to the report, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chafee sailed near Chinese-controlled features in Paracel Islands but not within the range of 12 nautical miles.

"China will continue to take resolute measures to protect Chinese sovereign territory and maritime interests", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

South Korea's new ambassador to China said Tuesday conflict between the two countries over Seoul's deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the USA "cannot continue this way".

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The number of Chinese medical tourists to South Korea declined sharply in the first half of this year, mainly due to the diplomatic row with China over the deployment of a US anti-missile system here, government data showed Wednesday.

Expressing firm opposition to the US move, Hua said China will continue to take resolute measures to protect its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests.

The Chinese Defense Ministry denounced the operation as a "provocation" and said it was "firmly opposed to such flaunting of force and promotion of militarization in the region by the United States, which could easily trigger accidents at sea and in the air".

U.S. President Donald Trump will makes his first visit to Asia as president next month.

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Twelve nautical miles mark internationally recognized territorial limits.

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in shipborne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. Beijing accuses the United States of violating its sovereignty, while Washington claims the missions support "freedom of navigation" in the region.

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 that they are separate from political considerations.

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