China says USA warship violated sovereignty near Scarborough

China says USA warship violated sovereignty near Scarborough

Wu Qian, spokesperson for the ministry said that the United States guided missile destroyer, arbitrarily entered waters surrounding Huangyan Island and a Chinese naval ship immediately conducted an identification and warning process to drive it away.

Beijing, Jumada I 3, 1439, Jan 20, 2018, SPA - A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saturday vowed "necessary measures" will be undertaken to safeguard the country's sovereignty after a USA warship entered waters surrounding Huangyan Island in the South China Sea.

Huangyan Island, also known as the Scarborough Shoal, is a disputed territory claimed by the Philippines as well as China.

The encounter between the two navies adds to long-standing tension between the United States and China in waters contested by at least six nations.

The incident took place Wednesday, two days before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis unveiled a new strategy calling China and Russian Federation the biggest threats to the US, not terrorism.

According to the foreign ministry, the USS Hopper came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea - quite close to the heavily disputed chain of islets in the region, Reuters reported.

China's Ministry of National Defence also asked the U.S. not to "cause trouble out of nothing", claiming that the situation around the South China Sea was becoming "more and more stable and positive". Nicole Schwegman said Saturday.

The US military has a longstanding position that such operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and that they are separate from political considerations.

Twelve nautical miles is the territorial limit recognized internationally. But since the worldwide community doesn't recognize many claims by China in the South China Sea, including its claim to the Scarborough Shoal, the US demonstrates its displeasure with China by conducting "freedom of navigation" operations with Navy warships.

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

The South China Sea has crucial shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil, gas and other mineral deposits.

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.

It has also threatened China's sovereignty and security, harmed the regional peace and stability, and gone against the stable development of relations between the two countries and their militaries, he stated.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel.