Monday, July 3, 2017

'Serious military provocation': China angered by US presence in South China Sea

The passage of a US warship close to a disputed island in the South China Sea was a “serious political and military provocation”, Beijing said, one that could further strain relations between the superpowers The destroyer, the USS Stethem, sailed less than 12 nautical miles from tiny Triton Island in the Paracel Islands archipelago, which is claimed by China as well as Taiwan and Vietnam, a US official said. Analysis Why Trump's $1.42bn Taiwan arms sale could backfire with China The president is laying down crude reminders before his meeting with Xi, but Beijing tends to react badly to bullying Read more The distance is commonly accepted as constituting the territorial waters of a landmass. The operation, meant to demonstrate freedom of navigation in disputed waters, came just hours before a scheduled phone call between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. State media reported that Xi told US Trump bilateral relations were “affected by some negative factors”, following a series of US actions that angered Beijing.

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