Palace sees nothing 'objectionable' with USA destroyer in South China Sea

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

"The US destroyer's actions have violated Chinese and global laws, as well as severely harmed China's sovereignty and security", Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a statement.

China, which claims the South China Sea virtually in entirety, has protested such repeated US military operations, which President Donald Trump's administration has continued partly to reassure allies locked in territorial rifts with Beijing.

Opening its strategic South Sea Fleet base in the coastal city of Zhanjiang to a group of Indian journalists for the first time, People's Liberation Army Navy officials say the Indian Ocean is a "common place" for the worldwide community. Geng reiterated the Chinese government's willingness to safeguard national sovereignty and its maritime rights and interests.

Chinese Foreign Minister also claimed in an interview Monday that China has finished land reclamation over two years ago, and that those bringing up the issue on reclamation are the ones doing it.

"China is resolutely opposed to this kind of show of force and pushing of regional militarization by the US that may easily cause an unexpected incident at sea or in the air", China's Defense Ministry said in a statement. The island itself is claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

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The president says, "I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country". The deal trades sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran's nuclear program.

A leading U.S. think tank, meanwhile, released a new report documenting what it said was continuing reclamation work on Chinese-controlled islands in the area despite a recent claim by China's foreign minister that such work had stopped two years ago.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea and is now building multiple artificial islands there to control the area, which more than half of the world's annual cargo fleet passes through.

The United States, Australia and Japan have promised to continue "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China Sea and called on Beijing to endorse a legally binding code of conduct over the disputed region. "To this end, Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels". "This clearly shows who does not want a stable South China Sea and who is the major force driving the militarisation in these waters", Geng said.

Additional reporting from Reuters. An estimated $5 trillion in annual trade passes through the waterway.

And today it was revealed President Donald Trump has sent a direct message to China by deploying a fearsome Navy destroyer near a Chinese island in a move which could be interpreted as "back us or else".

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