WORLD ON A KNIFE EDGE: China rages at Trump after he sends WARSHIP to disputed territory

Thursday, August 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

CHINA has launched a furious tirade against Donald Trump after the US Navy sent a warship to the South China Sea.

Thu, Aug 10, 2017

The USS John S McCain came within 12 nautical miles of the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, the US Navy said in a statement.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer undertook the “freedom of navigation” mission to challenge China’s claim to the territory.

Today’s operation will likely complicate Donald Trump’s hopes to persuade China to help rein in North Korea’s nuclear programmes.

China’s Foreign Ministry accused the US Navy of breaking “international laws” in a statement released this afternoon.

A spokesman for the ministry said: “The US destroyer’s actions have violated Chinese and international laws, as well as severely harmed China’s sovereignty and security.

“China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the US side.”

The US President’s administration has vowed to conduct more robust operations in the South China Sea despite growing tensions with Beijing.

In July, the USS Stethem sailed near Triton Island, a disputed island in the sea claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

And the USS Dewey sailed close to Mischief Reef in May.

The United States has criticised China’s construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the South China Sea.

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