Yokosuka-based United States destroyer challenges Beijing's claims in disputed South China Sea

Yokosuka-based United States destroyer challenges Beijing's claims in disputed South China Sea

Yokosuka-based United States destroyer challenges Beijing's claims in disputed South China Sea

On Thursday, Beijing sent two Chinese warships to warn the U.S.S. John McCain to leave while conducting a Freedom of Navigation operation.

The South China Sea is crucial for Chinese foreign trade, serving as a major transportation route for minerals, energy and Chinese-made goods.

A US Navy official told The Associated Press that the destroyer USS John S. McCain sailed past Mischief Reef on Thursday.

The US says it supports none of the nations' claims in the area and insists that the sea should be a neutral space available for free navigation.

"Vietnam has always been the country in Asean that has the strongest suspicions of Beijing. because it shares both a maritime and land border with China", Zhang said.

In addition to freedom-of-navigation operations, the USA has also conducted bomber overflights in the South China Sea.

The mission comes as the USA seeks China's cooperation on resolving the tension over North Korea's missile tests, which is perceived in Washington as a serious threat to the United States and its regional allies.

"It would be best if this apparent evidence can be vetted for accuracy if only to prove the trust and confidence that all disputants over the territory in South China Sea.need to have in each other moving forward", said President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman.

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In July, a USA warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

Cayetano had even wanted to exclude any mention of China's land reclamation activities and militarization in a joint communiqué of ASEAN foreign ministers during their meeting in Manila last week.

China is reported to be inching a step closer to military dominance in the hotly-contested waters as it has continued to build missile shelters on Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs in the Spratly archipelago, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), which is part of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies.

AMTI said China continued to reclaim in the Paracel Islands.

"Under the pretext of "navigation freedom", the U.S. side once again sent a military vessel into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without China's approval".

"Vietnam is unlikely to take a role as active as Aquino", Xue said, referring to former Philippine president Benigno Aquino who took the South China Sea case to an worldwide tribunal. "The operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law", she said. USA officials say the military will continue to sail, fly and operate wherever permitted by global law.

Beijing also said it was "very displeased" with the warship's actions and urged the United States to respect to Chinese sovereignty and security.

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

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