China, US in row over warship’s movement

China, US in row over warship’s movement”

"The Chinese military will resolutely perform its defense duties and continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard our sovereignty and the regional peace and stability", spokesman Wu Qian said.

China has claimed a large swathe of the South China Sea as its own, turning reefs and shoals into artificial islands and outfitting them with military-grade airfields, weapons, and military-grade sensors.

China's defense and foreign ministries each released statements Tuesday sharply criticizing the United States, though not disputing details of the USA accusations involving the Decatur.

By expanding its area of operations to the Taiwan Strait, Su continued, the United States was linking the South China Sea and Taiwan and was prepared to confront China across a wider front.

Chinese vessels have approached U.S. Navy ships during previous FONOPs in the South China Sea, but Sunday's encounter appears to the be the closest one yet. She intercepted Decatur as the American destroyer sailed near Gaven Reef, which is part of the Spratley Archipelago, west of the Philippines in the South China Sea.

The encounter could worsen tensions between the nations, already at odds over a trade dispute. In response, China summoned the American ambassador and defense attache to deliver a protest, and recalled its navy commander from a US trip.

Australia is warning Beijing not to use "intimidation or aggressive tactics" after a Chinese destroyer challenged a US Navy warship during a tense standoff in the South China Sea.

Ankit Panda, a foreign-policy expert who is a senior editor at The Diplomat, called the incident "the PLAN's most direct and unsafe attempt to interfere with lawful US Navy navigation in the South China Sea to date".

The Chinese defence ministry said it opposes the USA warship's entry into the waters "around China's islands and reefs".

This distance is generally accepted as constitutive of the limit of the territorial waters of a land mass.

Beijing claims all of the Spratlys and has built a number of military installations on the islands.

The latest incident followed a series of US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress long-range bomber flights through the East China and South China seas.

In the past, Washington has urged Australia to take a greater role in joining United States warships in freedom of navigation operations through the region to ensure vital trade routes remained open.

On Tuesday, Hua said China and the United States had previously agreed in principle to hold the dialogue in mid-October, while the USA recently proposed putting it off. The two countries have imposed increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other's imports.

The Chinese fighter pilot was killed in the collision and the EP-3 was forced to make an emergency landing in China's Hainan Island, with the crew detained for 11 days before being released.

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