China protests USA 'freedom of navigation'

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday the operation had violated Chinese and global law, "seriously" impairing the country's sovereignty and security as well as "endangering lives".

China has continued to reclaim areas in the disputed South China Sea, a U.S.

United States national security advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster had said recently that "China is not doing enough on North Korea which continues to violate worldwide norms by conducting missile tests".

Opening its strategic South Sea Fleet base in the coastal city of Zhanjiang to a group of Indian journalists for the first time, People's Liberation Army Navy officials say the Indian Ocean is a "common place" for the worldwide community.

"China has indisputable sovereignty of the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters and such a move severely undermines China's sovereignty and security, and severely endangers the safety of frontline personnel of both sides", he said.

A USA defense official said the plan was for the destroyer to sail within 6 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, one of the artificial islands built by China in the Spratlys.

The warship spat comes as a war of words between the USA and North Korea escalates and President Donald Trump pushes China to do more to reign in Pyongyang's threats. That occurred around Triton Island in the Paracel archipelago, which is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It was the third mission aimed at challenging China's claim on the territory under the Trump administration. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement. The reports, he said, have to be scrutinized for accuracy in order to preserve the interest of the claimant nations, such as between Vietnam and China.

"We urge the United States to immediately correct its mistake, stop provocations in the name of "freedom of navigation"," it said.

"They happen off the coast of Canada" and "in the waters off shore of our major allies, friends, partners all around the world", she said.

The US has criticised China's construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea.

It said China's artificial land bridge connecting North Island with neighboring Middle Island was washed out by Typhoon Sarika in October 2016.

But China scoffed at the U.S., calling the move a "provocation" that could seriously damage the two countries' strategic trust and also create difficulties and obstacles for their defence forces, Reuters reported.

The operations, according to anonymous officials, were meant to challenge China's claim on trade routes now contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

The Joint Communiqué reflects the consensus of the ministers on issues concerning ASEAN, wherein Vietnam and the Philippines are member states.

State responds to Gorka, says Tillerson carries a 'big stick'
Elon Musk's AI Just "Wiped Out" World's Best DOTA 2 Players