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China opposes United States move to send its warship in South China Sea

China opposes United States move to send its warship in South China Sea

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Wednesday denounced the mission as unsafe and a violation of China's sovereignty.

China immediately dispatched military vessels and tried to challenge the entry of the USA destroyer, local reports said.

The officials, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that the USS Chafee, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, "challenged excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands by sailing close to, but not within, the 12-nautical-mile limit of the islands.

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in shipborne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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The incident with the USS "Chafee" would affect trust between the militaries of the two countries, the ministry stated, adding that further operations of such nature might trigger "unwanted incidents".

Expressing firm opposition to the USA move, Hua said China will continue to take resolute measures to protect its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests.

The Pentagon has said the United States would continue to carry out the freedom-of-navigation operations.

This comes after US President Donald Trump's requested China's cooperation in addressing North Korea's missile and nuclear programs during his UN speech during the General Assembly of the United Nations in September. The trip will include a stop in China, which Trump has been pressuring to do more to rein in North Korea. "China is firmly opposed to that and has lodged stern representations with the USA".

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USA ships have repeatedly sailed past the disputed islets in the South China Sea, triggering an angry reaction from China.

The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and that they are separate from political considerations.

At a ceremony at the South Korean Embassy, Roh said he will explain to Beijing officials that Seoul's THAAD deployment is purely for defensive purposes against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and is not aimed at China.

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