Beijing says US warship violated sovereignty in South China Sea

Beijing says US warship violated sovereignty in South China Sea

Beijing says US warship violated sovereignty in South China Sea

"The naval ship USS Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles off Huangyan Dao, widely known Scarborough Shoal on January 17 without gaining permission from the Chinese government", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement.

Last year China took the first steps by announcing plans to build an environmental monitoring station on the reef.

"The Chinese navy carried out identification and verification procedures in accordance with the law and warned the USA vessel to leave", said foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang.

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.

News of the encounter follows yesterday's release of a new USA defence strategy that says America is facing "growing threats" from China and Russian Federation.

China seized Scarborough Shoal in 2012 after a brief stand-off with the Philippine navy. Nicole Schwegman said Saturday.

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Instead they aim to 'demonstrate our commitment to uphold the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under global law'. "FONOPS are created to comply with global law and not threaten the lawful security interest of coastal States". The U.S. fears the outposts could be used to restrict free movement there, and has conducted several so-called freedom of navigation operations in the area.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in The Hague, denied China's claim over the South China Sea in 2016 and said that China is infringing on the Philippines' traditional fishing rights.

"The South China Sea will be the ground on which the two powers will wrestle for military power", Zhang Jie said.

"China always respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea all countries are entitled to under global law", Lu said.

Though China claims sole custody of nearly the entire energy-rich and strategically-important South China Sea, several other nations such as Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel.

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