China "displeased" as US Navy destroyer passes near artificial island

Philippines offers North Korea ASEAN partner status

The USS John S McCain sailed within six nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands on Thursday as part of a "freedom of navigation" operation, which prompted the Chinese navy to warn off the US destroyer.

In July, the USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in the South China Sea for the second "fonop".

China's Foreign Ministry confirmed the patrol, saying that the operation had violated global and Chinese law and seriously harmed Beijing's sovereignty and security, adding that the Chinese Navy had "warned and expelled" the US warship.

In July, a United States warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

Beijing and ASEAN Foreign Ministers have recently adopted a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. "The Chinese military is firmly opposed to such flaunting of force and promotion of militarization in the region by the US, which could easily trigger accidents at sea and in the air".

The operations, according to anonymous officials, were meant to challenge China's claim on trade routes now contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

The reef is some 150 miles from Palawan, the nearest major Philippine island, and more than 650 miles southeast of Hainan, a Chinese island-province that reaches into the South China Sea.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with this", Geng said in a statement, adding Beijing would lodge an official protest with Washington.

The reef is an artificial island built by China in the Spratly Islands, known by China as the Nansha Islands. "The Chinese military is firmly opposed to such flaunting of force and promotion of militarization in the region by the USA, which could easily trigger accidents at sea and in the air".

The US supports neither nation's claims and insists that the sea should be a neutral space available for free navigation.

AMTI made Tree Island and North Island as examples. That occurred around Triton Island in the Paracel archipelago, which is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It's the third time the Pentagon has conducted a "freedom of navigation" challenging China's claims in the region since President Trump took office.

"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" the newspaper's source said.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday the operations are being conducted "in accordance with global law".

Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei - all ASEAN members - as well as Taiwan. "The operations are conducted in accordance with global law", she said.

The U.S. Defense Department says FONOPs represent "a challenge to excessive maritime claims".

The Pentagon declined to provide any details but said that all operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law.

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