BEIJING: China said on Wednesday it has lodged a protest with the United States after an American warship sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea.
The US Navy missile destroyer Chafee entered into China’s territorial waters near the Paracel Islands on Tuesday, according to Beijing’s foreign ministry.
China immediately dispatched military vessels and aircraft for identification and warned the US ship to leave, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing.
“The US vessel action violated Chinese laws and relevant international laws, undermined China’s sovereignty and security interests,” Hua said. “China is firmly opposed to that and has lodged stern representations with the US,” Hua said.If confirmed by the United States, it would be the fourth “freedom of navigation” operation carried out by the US Navy since President Donald Trump took office in January