China condemns U.S. for sending warship near island

BEIJING -- China strongly condemned the United States after a U.S. warship deliberately sailed near one of the Beijing-controlled islands in the hotly contested South China Sea to exercise freedom of navigation and challenge China's vast sea claims.

See Full Article

The missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres) of Triton Island in the Paracel chain "to challenge excessive maritime claims of parties that claim the Paracel Islands," without notifying the three claimants beforehand, Defence Department spokesman Mark Wright said Saturday in Washington.

China, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims in the Paracels and require prior notice from ships transiting what they consider their territorial waters. The latest operation was particularly aimed at China, which has raised tensions with the U.S. and its Southeast Asian neighbours by embarking on massive construction of man-made islands and airstrips in contested waters.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said that Vietnam respects "innocent passage" of ships through territorial waters in line with international law. State media quoted Binh as reiterating Vietnam's sovereignty over the Paracels and Spratlys and calling on nations to actively and practically contribute to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The U.S. has claimed the attempts to restrict navigational rights by requiring prior notice are inconsistent with international law and pledged to regularly carry out similar manoeuvrs.

In October, another U.S. warship sailed in the nearby Spratly Islands near Subi Reef, where China has built one of seven artificial islands.

The latest operation also drew Beijing's ire. Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun issued a statement saying the "unprofessional and irresponsible" U.S. action "severely violated Chinese law, sabotaged the peace, security and good order of the waters, and undermined the region's peace and stability."

In an opinion published Sunday by the official Xinhua news agency, China described the manoeuvr as a "deliberate provocation" that raised doubts about the United States' sincerity just days after Secretary of State John Kerry visited Beijing for meetings about the South China Sea and North Korea that were called productive by both sides.

China's official response has been restrained compared to the public outrage seen online, according to Xinhua. A social media search on Sunday showed a smattering of posts calling on China to adopt a tougher military posture against U.S. encroachment -- if not wage war with the United States.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea and its islands, reefs and atolls on historic grounds. The area has some of the world's busiest shipping lanes, and U.S. officials say ensuring freedom of navigation is in U.S. national interests, while not taking sides in the territorial disputes.

China seized the unpopulated Triton Island, an area of 1.2 square kilometres (0.46 sq. miles), from former South Vietnam in 1974. In May 2014, China parked a huge oil drilling platform off the Vietnamese coast in the area, prompting Vietnam to send fishing boats and coast guard vessels to harass the rig and nearby Chinese vessels. Skirmishes led to collisions and the capsizing of at least one Vietnamese boat.

Associated Press writer Tran V. Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • B.C. dogwalker, three dogs recovering after helicopter rescue

    Canada News CTV News
    The B.C. dogwalker who was found alive after spending two nights lost in the Coquitlam backcountry is recovering following her rescue by helicopter. Annette Poitras, 56, was hiking with three dogs on Monday, when she fell because of what rescue workers deemed poor footwear and slippery conditions. Source
  • Activists applaud vote to remove cops from Toronto schools

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A group of activists called on the Ontario government to ban the practice of stationing uniformed police officers at high schools across the province after the Toronto District School Board voted to permanently end the program. Source
  • Las Vegas shooting gunman fired over 1,100 rounds: sheriff

    World News CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- The top lawman in Las Vegas says the gunman who killed dozens of people at a concert last month fired more than 1,100 rounds. The newly released estimate from Sheriff Joe Lombardo offers more detail about the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. Source
  • Arctic access: Inuit want to travel freely on waters between Canada and Greenland

    Canada News CTV News
    Inuit from Canada and Greenland hope to convince at least four governments to let them manage and travel freely over an international stretch of Arctic ocean that's one of the most productive environments in the North. Source
  • Libya promises to investigate slave trade allegations

    World News CBC News
    Libya's UN-backed government said on Thursday it was investigating the reports of slave trading that have caused international revulsion, promising to bring any perpetrators to justice. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been among world leaders expressing horror after footage broadcast on CNN of the bidding and sale of migrants seeking a better life. Source
  • Almost half of impaired driving fatalities are 'innocent victims': Ontario police

    Canada News CTV News
    ORILLIA, Ont. -- Provincial police say nearly half of the people killed in impaired driving crashes over the past 15 years were not the impaired driver. They say 987 people have died in alcohol or drug-related collisions on OPP-patrolled roads since 2003. Source
  • 'It's still not what it used to be': Alberta economy rebounds but unemployment remains sticky

    Canada News CBC News
    Retail sales continue to climb in Alberta while EI payouts continue to decline but the province's unemployment rate remains notably higher than the national average. "Right now, the Alberta economy … even though it's rebounding, it's still not what it used to be," said Pedro Antunes, deputy chief economist with the Conference Board of Canada. Source
  • Future of Grace Mugabe's farms, assets an open question in Zimbabwe

    World News CBC News
    For years, a group of Zimbabwean villagers resisted efforts by the wife of President Robert Mugabe to force them off a farm near the capital, enduring police raids and the demolition of their homes. Now that Mugabe has resigned, the farmers say they are able to move more freely in a blow to Grace Mugabe's efforts to expand her land holdings. Source
  • Children out of cancer treatment options offered hope by new Terry Fox program

    Canada News CBC News
    Seeing children suffering with cancer when he was being treated himself broke Terry Fox's heart and inspired his Marathon of Hope. Now, those efforts have fuelled a unique initiative to give kids and young adults across the country a chance to live when there are few, if any, treatment options left. Source
  • Newfoundland and Labrador announces weed will be sold through private stores

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador has announced recreational marijuana will be sold through private stores. The provincial government unveiled its plan Thursday, which will see the Crown-owned liquor corporation oversee the distribution to private retailers who will sell it. Source