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Beijing slams U.S. 'freedom of navigation' exercises in South China Sea
12 August 2017, 02:36 | Devin Moran
US destroyer challenges China's claims in South China Sea
"China is resolutely opposed to this kind of show of force and pushing of regional militarization by the U.S. that may easily cause an unexpected incident at sea or in the air", Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
On Thursday، the US Navy's USS John S. McCain warship sailed within 12 miles of Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly chain in the South China Sea.
China on Sunday scored a diplomatic coup when foreign ministers from the 10-member ASEAN bloc released a diluted joint statement on the dispute that failed to mention China on the issue and agreed to its terms on how to negotiate a resolution.
On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was asked at a briefing whether "freedom of navigation" and other issues serve to "make for a more hard campaign on North Korea with China".
Geng said, "China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests".
Thursday's freedom of navigation operation was the third of its kind carried out by the United States since President Donald Trump took office in January.
How do you know the the foreign affairs chiefs of the Philippines and China are telling the truth when they claim that Beijing has stopped reclaiming lands in the disputed South China Sea?
The sprawling base on the coast of the South China Sea is one of PLAN's three major bases, and PLAN is now poised for major expansion.
But Nicole Schwegman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that United States forces operated in the Asia Pacific region on a daily basis.
The US, Australia and Japan had issued a statement at ASEAN opposing "coercive unilateral action" and any militarisation of the islands - after Vietnam failed in a push to have the code of conduct be legally binding.
"And the point of that is to demonstrate that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".
AMTI was reacting to the recent claims of Foreign Ministers Alan Peter Cayetano and Wang Yi that China's reclamation activities had long ceased.
The Djibouti base will also provide a resting place for Chinese navy personnel, he said.
At the same time, the US Pacific Command is also keen on admonishing China as an aggressor in the hotly-contested waterway, through which trade worth $5tn passes each year.
The continuing work on structures, captured in images taken by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, include a new helipad in the Paracel Islands and a new building and wall on North Island.
Its sweeping claims overlap with those of ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan.
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