Beijing ‘angered’ as 2 United States warships enter S. China Sea - spokeswoman

U.S. Naval Patrol Prompts Chinese Protest as Trade Talks StartMore

The US sailed two warships close to the disputed islands in the South China Sea on Monday to challenge China's excessive maritime claim, according to a media report which said the move is certain to draw the ire of Beijing.

The ships entered the waters without China's permission, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.The US warships sailed near the islands the same day that China resumed trade talks with Washington.

Tensions have been high for years between Washington and Beijing in the South China Sea, with the us regularly drawing Chinese ire.

The relevant action by the USA side infringed upon China's sovereignty, and undermined the peace, security, and order of the relevant waters, Hua said, adding that China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard itself.

"The relevant actions of the USA warships violated Chinese sovereignty, and undermined peace, security, and order in the relevant sea areas", Hua said.

She demanded the USA "immediately stop its provocative actions" after the two destroyers conducted what Washington called "freedom of navigation" exercises in the area.

The alleged incursion by two US warships into the internationally disputed waters of the South China Sea was the second such move within five weeks.

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China has lashed out at the United States in the wake of another "freedom of navigation" exercise conducted by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, accusing Washington of undermining "peace" and "security".

Navy spokesman Commander Clay Doss told U.S. media: "All operations are designed in accordance with worldwide law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

The operation was the US's latest attempt to counter what it sees as China's mission to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters where Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian navies operated. The two countries have traded barbs over what USA said was Beijing's military installation building on artificial islands and reefs.

China claims nearly all of the strategic South China Sea and frequently lambastes the United States and its allies over naval operations near Chinese-occupied islands.

Top US officials have attacked China for everything from human rights abuses to cyber espionage in America. China says the construction is necessary for defence, and it was the U.S. that was responsible for tensions by sending warships and military planes close to islands Beijing claims.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

The two countries are also at loggerheads over regional security, with the U.S. offering support to the island nation of Taiwan, which China also claims as its own.

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