Beijing expresses anger at US Navy mission through disputed South China Sea

The US has made several excursions into the South China Sea provoking Beijing's anger

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying claimed on Monday the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy warned Spruance and Preble against approaching territory claimed by China.

Over the last five years China has rapidly built artificial islands housing significant military infrastructure on what had been low-lying reefs.

"There's been sort of a steady increase", Admiral John Richardson, the US Chief of Naval Operations, told reporters earlier this month when asked about China's militarization of the area.

It was the second such USA operation in the South China Sea this year.

The FONOP involved the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble, which patrolled through the area to "challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by global law", as U.S. Navy 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr.

Speaking about the most recent operation, Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, told CNN that the action was meant to "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law". The US labelled the Chinese warship's actions unsafe and unprofessional, while Beijing said the US was threatening the safety and sovereignty of China.

"We conduct routine and regular freedom of navigation operations as we have done in the past and will continue to in the future", he said.

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Doss said FONOPS "are not about any one country, nor are they about making political statements".

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

The news comes on the day that a US trade delegation arrived in Beijing for another round of talks in the ongoing trade conflict between USA and China. All operations are designed in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows.

The US is "determined to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, create tension and undermine peace", Hua said.

In September, a Chinese warship came within just 45 yards of a US destroyer, raising concerns about the possibility of tensions boiling over into conflict.

The operation came as the Trump administration has prepared for another round of trade talks with the Chinese government.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will join higher principal-level talks Thursday and Friday.

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