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China "displeased" as US Navy destroyer passes near artificial island

13 August 2017

In July, a U.S. warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

The US Navy has sailed the "USS John S. McCain" past an island in the disputed Spratly chain in the South China Sea, US officials told media.

The US and China have worked together recently to crack down on North Korea, which continues to test nuclear missiles and maintains a hostile stance towards the US, South Korea and Japan.

Beijing also said it was "very displeased" with the warship's actions and urged the United States to respect to Chinese sovereignty and security.

The spokesperson said China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and its adjacent waters and the recent acts of the U.S. warships violated worldwide law. The South China Sea issues were a prominent focus, and the results of these meetings indicated a new low in US diplomatic influence.

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The operation was illegal and carried out without permission from Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

The U.S. destroyer sailed 6 nautical miles past Mischief Reef Thursday as part of a freedom of navigation operation in global waters, a U.S. navy official said on condition of anonymity.

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the USA side", the ministry added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) defended the statement of Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano that China has stopped its South China Sea reclamation activities in 2015, a claim refuted by a US-based think tank.

In the latest sail-by, US military officials notified Philippine counterparts of the maneuver, a Philippine official said, adding that Philippine forces were not involved.

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"China's own reclamation work did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys".

In a statement Friday, August 11, the DFA explained that the Philippines' position on the South China Sea dispute "is always based on the latest intelligence we have on the ground".

THERE is a renewed call from the rest of the world urging China to respect the year-old decision of the Permanent Arbitration Court (PAC) and compliance with the ruling that invalidated China's vast claims to the disputed waters.

The Philippines is increasingly reluctant to allow the United States to use its territory to "deter" China or to jointly exercise with it in the South China Sea.

He also voiced resentment at a call by Australia, Japan and the United States to enforce the arbitral ruling and for a legally binding code of conduct in the vital sea lanes, saying: "The problem of territorial dispute is between Philippines and China". It also gives states an exclusive economic zone up to 200 nautical miles from their coastline meaning that most of the Spratly Islands are in the territorial waters of the Philippines and Malaysia. The three countries have criticised the Chinese claims, which they said pose a threat to freedom of navigation and overflight in the area, which sees about US$5 trillion (166 trillion baht) of goods pass through annually.

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