US Navy destroyer conducts operation in South China Sea

The USS John Mc Cain destroyer in the Asia Pacific region

The USS John Mc Cain destroyer in the Asia Pacific region

China expressed "strong dissatisfaction" Friday, after a US warship sailed near an artificial island in the strategic South China Sea.

China's foreign ministry said: "The US destroyer's actions have violated Chinese and worldwide laws, as well as severely harmed China's sovereignty and security".

"China is very displeased with this and will bring up the issue with the United States side", the statement reads.

China reiterated that the US provocation will force PLA to take further measures to strengthen homeland defense capacity.

In July, a USA warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

"And the point of that is to demonstrate that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

"We are continuing regular FONOPs, as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future", he added.

The US does not recognise China's claims to the area.

The significance of the distance of 12 nautical miles derives from the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which generally grants coastal states jurisdiction over seas within 12 nautical miles of the coast.

The second US Freedom of Navigation operation in the South China Sea under President Donald Trump was carried out in early July, and was also condemned by China.

China has been ambiguous about its precise territorial claims around such artificial islands.

The operation comes four days after the US, Australia, and Japan denounced China's island-building and militarisation of the South China Sea on the sidelines of a security forum of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the Philippine capital, Manila.

Cayetano had even wanted to exclude any mention of China's land reclamation activities and militarization in a joint communiqué of ASEAN foreign ministers during their meeting in Manila last week.

Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei - all ASEAN members - as well as Taiwan.

Mabini (Johnson) Reef part of the disputed islands China has built up in the South China Sea. Beijing has called the moves purely defensive.

The photos, with August 5, 2017 being the most recent release, showed infrastructure and land reclamation in the Tree Island and the North Island.

Beijing claims nearly the entirety of the South China Sea, has deployed naval units and has reclaimed land from the sea to expand its presence, sparking protests from its neighbours.

According to August 9 report by AMTI, China's reclamation work did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys.

China has constructed airstrips and hangars and protected harbors for the air and naval units in the Paracel Islands.

The Paracels play "a key role in China's goal of establishing surveillance and power projection capabilities throughout the South China Sea", the report said.

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