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

  • Even after Trump warning, Mueller likely to probe president's finances: reports

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's growing anxiety about the federal Russia probe has spilled into public view with his warning in a New York Times interview earlier this week that special counsel Robert Mueller would be out of bounds if he dug into the Trump family's finances. Source
  • In South Sudan, a child soldier long thought dead comes back

    World News CTV News
    JUBA, South Sudan -- She had no body to bury, so the grieving mother kneeled in the dirt outside her small hut, recited psalms and simply traced her finger over the uneven earth. It was December 2015, a year after Nyayan Koang’s boy was abducted by government soldiers at the age of just 14 to fight in South Sudan’s army. Source
  • Asian ISIS supporters galvanized by Philippine city siege: report

    World News CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia - The attack by Islamic State group-affiliated militants on a Philippine city has galvanized its Southeast Asian supporters and spells trouble for the region, a top terrorism researcher said Friday as the occupation of Marawi nears two months despite a sustained military offensive. Source
  • Quake damages buildings on Greek island; 2 killed, 120 hurt

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATHENS, Greece — A powerful earthquake shook the Greek resort island of Kos early Friday morning, damaging older and historic buildings and the main port, killing at least two people and causing more than 120 injuries, authorities said. Source
  • Trump legal team looking to investigate Mueller's investigative team

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team, three people with knowledge of the matter said Thursday. The revelations come as Mueller's investigation appears likely to probe some of the Trump family's business ties. Source
  • South Korea calls for North Korea to respond to talk offers

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea on Friday urged North Korea to accept its offers for talks as Pyongyang continued to ignore Seoul's proposal for a military meeting to ease animosities along their tense border. Source
  • Coffee recalled: It's not caffeine keeping you up

    World News Toronto Sun
    GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A Texas coffee company is recalling one of its roasts because it was making some men a bit too excited. Bestherbs Coffee LLC issued the voluntary recall for its New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee after the U.S. Source
  • Parole hearing for Paul Bernardo pushed back

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Schoolgirl killer Paul Bernardo’s bid for parole has been delayed. The notorious sicko began his application for day parole last year. He was scheduled to have a hearing in August, but that has since been pushed back to October, according to various media reports. Source
  • Sessions says he 'loves this job' and is staying on

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly skewered by his boss for stepping clear of the Russia-Trump investigations, declared Thursday he still loves his job and plans to stay on. Yet Donald Trump’s airing of his long-simmering frustrations with Sessions raised significant new questions about the future of the nation’s top prosecutor. Source
  • A weird Florida mystery: Frozen pork falling from the sky

    World News CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Meat falling from the sky is weird, even by Florida standards. But that's what happened at 4 a.m. Saturday when a 6.8-kilogram bag of frozen pork landed on the Deerfield Beach home of Travis Adair and his family. Source