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China says US warship violated sovereignty close to Scarborough

China says US warship violated sovereignty close to Scarborough

According to Wu, on January 17, the USS Hopper, a guided missile destroyer, arbitrarily entered waters surrounding Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, before Chinese missile destroyer Huangshan immediately conducted an identification and warning process to drive it away.

The US vessel "violated China's sovereignty and security interests", and put the safety of nearby Chinese vessels "under grave threat", foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Also known as Scarborough Shoal, the ring of reefs lies about 230 kilometers from the Philippines in the South China Sea, where Beijing's claims are hotly contested by other nations. "The Philippines' claim over Scarborough Shoal is recognized under our constitutional law and worldwide law", Roque said.

"We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russian Federation are from each other, nations that do seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models, pursuing veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic and security decisions", Mattis added.

The United States does not claim territory in the South China Sea but has declared it has a national interest in ensuring that the territorial disputes there are resolved peacefully in accordance with global law.

China is a "strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbours while militarising features in the South China Sea", the document says.

He urged the US to "immediately correct its mistake and stop making such provocative moves so as to avoid undermining China-US relations and regional peace and stability".

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

"We do not wish to be part of a US-China intramural", Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque said in a statement.

While Beijing and Manila have a long history of maritime squabbles over sovereignty in the South China Sea, especially over the tiny shoal, those tensions have eased under the Philippine's China-friendly leader Rodrigo Duterte.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has carried out extensive land reclamation work on numerous islands and reefs it claims, equipping some with air strips and military installations.

But it added, "the United States has repeatedly sent warships illegally into the adjacent waters of the South China Sea islands and reefs".

Under joint efforts by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the situation around the South China Sea is becoming more and more stable and positive, Wu said.

"The United States conducts routine and regular FONOPs (Freedom of Navigation Operations), as we have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future", Navy Lt. Cmdr.

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