China gives strict & # 39; warning to the US after the destroyer hunts near islands claiming in the disputed South China Sea while trade negotiations start
- USS McCampbell sailed near the Paracel Islands, in the controversial South China Sea
- China claims that islands are its territory and that it owns the surrounding waters
- But the US says that sea, one of the world's busiest shipping routes, is international waters
- China has strict statements & # 39; given to US officials in Beijing during trade negotiations
Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
China has & # 39; strict performances & # 39; to the US after an American destroyer sailed through waters claimed by Beijing in the controversial South China Sea.
Chinese officials spoke to their American counterparts when they arrived in Beijing for talks aimed at deleting a continuing trade war.
China has long been claiming territorial rights over the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping routes, but according to the US, it is international waters.
The USS McCampbell, a guided missile destroyer, sailed 12 nautical miles from the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Monday, causing an angry response from Beijing
To this end, America does what it does & # 39; freedom of navigation activities & # 39; mentions from within 12 nautical miles of islands claimed by the Chinese, but which also have rival claims from other countries, including American allies.
The U.N. defines territorial waters as within 12 nautical miles of the coastline of a country.
On Monday, the USS McCampbell, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands to avoid excessive maritime claims & # 39; to challenge China, Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said.
China has controlled the islands since it took over control of Vietnamese troops in 1974, but Vietnam and Taiwan still lay claim to them.
They are different from the Spratley Islands – a series of artificial islands built by the Chinese and equipped with military bases and airfields.
Spokesman Lu Kang of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the behavior of the American ship had violated Chinese and international law and that China had sent military ships and aircraft to identify and warn the ship.
We urge the United States to immediately stop this kind of provocation, & # 39; he said.
The statement came when trade negotiations between China and the United States took place in Beijing, the first round of personal talks, as both sides agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that had rolled international markets.
Asked about the timing of the operation during trade negotiations, Lu said that solving problems would benefit the two countries and the world.
China claims sovereignty over the islands and the waters around them, but the US claim that the islands have not been claimed and the surrounding ocean is international waters
"Both parties have the responsibility to create the necessary positive atmosphere for this," he said.
China is claiming almost the entire strategic South China Sea and regularly meets with the United States and its allies for the freedom of navigation operations on the Chinese occupied islands.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan have competing claims in the region.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to enter into a spiral of trade disputes with import tariffs for hundreds of billions of goods.
Trump has imposed tariffs to put Beijing under pressure to change its practices in the field of industrial espionage, market access and industrial subsidies. China has taken reprisal measures with its own rates.
Over the past few months, the fears have grown that the dispute is only one vector in a bilateral relationship that cools rapidly across the board, with senior officials sharply criticizing Beijing for everything from human rights violations and their impact on the United States.
The two countries are also at odds with regional security, including the rapprochement of Washington to the self-destined island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims is its own.
China and the United States have in the past repeatedly traded barbels about what, according to Washington, is the militarization of the South China Sea in Beijing by building military installations on artificial islands and reefs.
China defends the construction as necessary for self-defense and says that it is rather Washington that is responsible for raising tensions in the region by sending warships and military plans close to the demands of Beijing in the area.