China protests US 'freedom of navigation'

August 11, 2017

USS John S McCain raised China's ire by sailing close to one of its artificial islands.

China's foreign ministry says a US navy destroyer that carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" in the South China Sea violated international and Chinese law and seriously harmed Beijing's sovereignty and security.

US officials earlier told Reuters the USS John S. McCain had travelled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals, an area where China has territorial disputes with its neighbours.

"The US destroyer's actions have violated Chinese and international laws, as well as severely harmed China's sovereignty and security," the ministry said late on Thursday in a statement on its website.

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the US side."

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