China protests US warship operation in South China Sea

File image of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

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The foreign Ministry of China claim that the American ships had violated the 12-mile limit of territorial waters in the South China sea.

The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters.

CNN quoting US official reports that the guided missile destroyer USS Higgins and the cruiser USS Antietam sailed with 12 miles of four of the Paracel islands in its, what the US Navy calls a "freedom of navigation operation" meant to enforce the right of free passage in global waters.

But he said it was unfair to single out China for its advanced militarization in the South China Sea.

Critics of the operations, known as a "freedom of navigation", have said that they have little impact on Chinese behaviour and are largely symbolic.

The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its activities are completed all through the world, incorporating into regions asserted by partners, and that they are separate from political contemplations.

Satellite view of one of the islands part of the Paracel Islands in the disputed South China Sea.

It also aids military development, says military analyst Song Zhongping.

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According to Reuters, the U.S. freedom of navigation operation was a targeted measure against China's growing influence in the region.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement released on Sunday night that United States war ships trespassed into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands on Sunday without Beijing's permission.

"Chinese military took immediate actions by dispatching naval ships and aircrafts to conduct legal identification and verification of the USA warships and warn them off", Wu Qian, defense ministry spokesman, said.

In a separate statement, China's Foreign Ministry urged the United States to stop such actions.

Lu called on the USA to immediately stop such provocative operations that encroach upon China's sovereignty and threaten China's security, adding that China will to take all necessary measures to protect and defend the nation.

In recent months, China has appeared more determined to defend its claims in the South China Sea, reinforcing and arming its bases in the Paracel Islands and farther south in the Spratly Islands, even though the various islands, reefs, shoals and other outcroppings are also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and others. The US Navy Warships carried out the movement close Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody islands in the Paracels.

Last month, Chinese ships reportedly gave a "robust" challenge to three Australian warships in the South China Sea that were en route to Vietnam.

China's military took "immediate action" on Sunday against "unauthorized" sailing by U.S. warships in South China Sea waters claimed by Beijing.

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