US Navy destroyer sails near disputed islands in South China Sea

US Navy destroyer sails near disputed islands in South China Sea

US Navy destroyer sails near disputed islands in South China Sea

China has lodged solemn representations with the United States after a US destroyer intruded into China's territorial waters in the South China Sea on Tuesday.

"China will continue to take resolute measures to protect Chinese sovereign territory and maritime interests", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

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 US vessel action violated Chinese laws and relevant global laws, undermined China's sovereignty and security interests", she said.

A U.S. official said the destroyer USS Chafee sailed near the Paracel Islands on Tuesday, coming within 16 nautical miles of land.

The Paracel Islands have been controlled by China since 1974 but they are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

It added that it would further strengthen its naval and air defenses.

US destroyer sails near China-claimed island in South China Sea

"It is a critical stage for the development of the relationship between Chinese and American armies, and we demand the United States side earnestly take steps to correct its mistakes", the ministry said.

Next month, Trump makes his first visit to Asia as president, including a stop in China, which he has been pressuring to do more to rein in North Korea.

China claims the South China Sea and its islands virtually in their entirety.

China's Foreign Ministry has also urged the U.S. to "respect the sovereignty and security" of the country and stop such "erroneous acts". Beijing accuses the United States of violating its sovereignty, while Washington claims the missions support "freedom of navigation" in the region.

The United States has said it would like to see more global participation in freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea.

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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