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China warns of counter measures after U.S. warship sails through SCS

22 January, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • China warns of counter measures after U.S. warship sails through SCS

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Saturday that the USS Hopper missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Scarborough Shoal, called Huangyan Island in China, on Wednesday night.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said expressed dissatisfaction with the US action and China would take "necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty", the South China Morning Post reported.

China Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said a Chinese missile frigate moved to identify and verify the U.S. vessel and warned it to leave the area.

Chinese ships have come under scrutiny in the past few weeks as we've seen evidence that the vessels are aiding the North Koreans, per a Wall Street Journal report.

"We hope that the United States will respect China's sovereignty, respect the efforts made by the countries within the region, and not cause trouble out of nothing or make waves", Wu said.

Greg Poling, a South China Sea expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said the Pentagon appeared determined to keep up regular freedom of navigation patrols in the sea, with one every six weeks or so, in spite of Chinese objections.

THE Philippines does not want to be part of the "US-China intramural" over the Scarborough Shoal, Malacanang said on Sunday. Chinese actions such as warnings to ships and aircraft to keep away from Scarborough Shoal, beyond the 12 nautical mile limit, (will) likely continue.

"We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russian Federation are from each other, nations that do seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models, pursuing veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic and security decisions", Mattis added.




China's Defense ministry echoed Lu's tone in a separate statement on Saturday, stressing that the military will step up vigilance against air and sea patrols to defend national and regional peace and stability.

The Philippines has sparred with China for decades over what it says is aggressive conduct at the Scarborough Shoal.

The U.S. Navy regularly sails through the area to assert freedom of navigation.

"The United States can take care of its own interest", Roque said.

China claims undisputed sovereignty over Huangyan Island and its adjacent waters, although they are also claimed by the Philippines and Taiwan.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has carried out extensive land reclamation work on numerous islands and reefs it claims, equipping some with air strips and military installations.

Tensions over China's aggressive stance toward its territoriality in the South China Sea has flustered its relations with the US and its allies.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who succeeded Aquino, developed warmer relations with China.

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