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China lodges representations with USA over destroyer's trespass on territorial waters
12 October 2017, 12:23 | Terri Saunders
US Navy Destroyer Sails Near Islands Claimed by China in South China Sea
A U.S. Navy destroyer reportedly sailed near Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday.
The USS Chafee, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, did not come within 12 miles of any individual islands - a distance China considers territorial waters - but did enter the "straight baseline" that Beijing claims around the island group, according to the officials.
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 USA anti-missile system here, government data showed Wednesday.
The operation was part of a longstanding effort to challenge Beijing's "excessive maritime claims", the officials said, adding that the USA does not recognize China's claim of sovereignty in that location and regards the area as global waters. China regards a major part of the sea as its territory though there are contesting claims by four other countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines.
"We demand the USA side earnestly take steps to correct its mistakes", the ministry said in a statement. China is North Korea's neighbor and biggest trading partner.
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The United States does not recognize China's sovereignty claim over the islands and sees it as an effort to limit freedom of navigation.
Experts and some US officials have criticized former president Barack Obama for potentially reinforcing China's claims by sticking to innocent passage, in which a warship effectively recognized a territorial sea by crossing it speedily without stopping.
Trump's visit to China will reciprocate a trip to the United States made in April by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At a ceremony at the South Korean Embassy, Roh said he will explain to Beijing officials that Seoul's THAAD deployment is purely for defensive purposes against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and is not aimed at China.
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