China has condemned the US South China Sea operation in which US Navy Destroyer undertook a sail-by near the disputed islands of South China Sea over which China has expressed its claims. A Chinese naval ship was later sent as a warning to the US vessel to leave the area.
The Defence Ministry of China has stated, “ The US side repeatedly sends military ships without permission into seas close to South China Seas islands, seriously threatening China’s sovereignty and security, seriously damaging Sino-US military ties, and seriously harming regional peace and stability”.
USS Decatur had sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands this Sunday in a latest attempt to counter the Chinese efforts to restrict freedom of navigation in the strategically important islands where Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian navies operate.
The Foreign Ministry of China has asked US to correct its mistakes and put an end to such provocative actions. The timing of the operation is also vital as the US-China relations have taken a deep set-back in the wake of on-going trade war and US sanctions on China for the purchase of arms from Russia.