USA destroyer sent to Chinese waters as North Korea crisis deepens

The USS John Mc Cain destroyer in the Asia Pacific region

His comments came amidst reports from Washington that a U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" August 10, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island China built in the South China Sea.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement that the USS John S. McCain had violated Chinese and global law, undermined Chinese sovereignty and security, and endangered the safety of frontline personnel.

However, the USA officials said that the USS John S. McCain sailed past an island in the disputed Spratly chain in the South China Sea, which is the third mission under the Trump administration.

The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes, and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance.

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The US، however، says it supports none of the territorial claims and only sends the warships to protect what it calls "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea، which acts as a strategic transfer route for Chinese goods and is believed to be rich in natural resources.

Geng said, "China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests".

Japan worries that China's probing of its air defences is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan.

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the United States side", the statement reads.

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The South China Sea is filled with small islands, reefs and shoals and there are many territorial disputes between countries in the area.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella also said that the reports should be verified for accuracy to preserve the trust and confidence among all disputants in the South China Sea, West Philippine Sea and the North Natuna Seas.

Quoting Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the United States move was part of its right to freedom of navigation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned against "outside interference" in the negotiations, and claimed China had finished land reclamation on islands two years ago. "To this end, Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels". "It is clear who is not willing to see stability in the South China Sea and who is the major factor pushing for militarization in the South China Sea".

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Tensions have risen recently after North Korea carried out two nuclear tests previous year and two ICBM tests last month, prompting a strong round of UN sanctions which angered Pyongyang who threatened to teach the United States a "severe lesson".

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