AGENCIES / BEJING
China on Monday reacted sharply to a “Freedom of Navigation” operation by the US military in disputed waters in the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media on Monday that a US warship on Sunday sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by China and the Philippines. He said the ship passed by the shoal without Beijing’s permission.
China effectively controls the shoal. Lu said the act by the US warship violates China’s sovereignty and undermines peace, security and good order in the waters. He stressed that China resolutely opposes it.
This is the fourth reported “Freedom of Navigation” operation this year. It comes as China continues to increase its military presence in the South China Sea, such as by constructing artificial islands.
Lu urged the US military to end the operations, adding that China will take all necessary measures to defend its sovereignty and security.