South China Sea dispute: Beijing dispatches military ships following incursion by US Navy destroyer

Beijing: China has sent military ships and warplanes to the South China Sea following the incursion by a US destroyer near the Xisha islands.

Representational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

The announcement came after it was revealed that a US destroyer sailed near Xisha islands, which are located in the South China Sea and claimed by China, Efe news reported.

"China dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

"The Chinese side strongly urges the US side to immediately stop such provocative operations that violate China's sovereignty and threaten China's security," he added.

Lu said the incursion was carried out under the pretext of "navigation freedom" without prior approval from China.

He emphasized that the islands were "an inherent part of the Chinese territory".

Although the US and China had reached a level of understanding following a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in Florida, frictions between the two countries over the South China Sea continue.

Updated Date: Jul 03, 2017 14:34 PM

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