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13 August 2017, 11:09 | Terri Saunders
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. Mc Cain sailing in the waters off the Korean Peninsula
"The US destroyer's actions have violated Chinese and global laws, as well as severely harmed China's sovereignty and security", it said.
Spokesmen from both the Defence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry issued statements condemning the "unauthorised entry into neighbouring waters of relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands" by the USS John S. McCain.
"The US military's provocative actions will only encourage the Chinese military to further strengthen the defence capacity building and firmly defend national sovereignty and security", said Wu.
They sought compliance with an arbitration ruling previous year that invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea. Both the Navy and the missile forces were expected to get the bulk of China's annual defense budget, which past year amounted to $152 billion, second only to that of the U.S.
The U.S.is not involved in the long-seething disputes in the busy and potentially oil- and gas-rich waters involving China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the US over the Navy's latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China's man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea.
Beijing claims most of the sea and has been turning reefs in the Spratlys and Paracel chains into islands, installing military aircraft and missile systems on them - an activity the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said was continuing.
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Vietnam also called on ASEAN to advocate a "legally-binding" Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that would place severe constraints on Chinese activity.
The Trump administration is dependent on Beijing to rein in the belligerent North Korea and have been pressing China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime to prevent tensions from escalating further in the Korean peninsula.
Chinese navy guided missile frigates "took immediate action to identify and verify the U.S. ship, and warned and dispelled it", the Defense Ministry said.
The US supports neither nation's claims and insists that the sea should be a neutral space available for free navigation.
The world is feared to be on the brink of World War 3 after a series of nuclear tests by North Korea, China's closest ally. "The Chinese military is firmly opposed to such flaunting of force and promotion of militarization in the region by the USA, which could easily trigger accidents at sea and in the air". 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.
China and the Asean countries are focusing on strengthening cooperation to promote comprehensive and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and jointly develop regional rules.
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