China protests USA ship sailing by island in South China Sea

China protests USA ship sailing by island in South China Sea

Firing back at criticism of China's activities, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday that China had "stopped or already completed land reclamation" on its holdings in the South China Sea two years ago. China has not recognized the ruling.

He added that the Chinese Navy identified the warship, warned and expelled it.

The reef is some 150 miles from Palawan, the nearest major Philippine island, and more than 650 miles southeast of Hainan, a Chinese island-province that reaches into the South China Sea. The reports, he said, have to be scrutinized for accuracy in order to preserve the interest of the claimant nations, such as between Vietnam and China.

Early this week, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano described the think tank's report as "false", saying Beijing is "not reclaiming land anymore". Roughly two thirds of South Korea's energy supplies, as well as almost 60 percent of energy supplies for Japan and Taiwan follow the same route.

Tensions have risen recently after North Korea carried out two nuclear tests previous year and two ICBM tests last month, prompting a strong round of U.N. sanctions which angered Pyongyang who threatened to teach the United States a "severe lesson".

Zhang from Lingnan University said there could be more pressure applied by other rivals such as the US, Australia and Japan, which have previously voiced opposition to land reclamation and militarisation in the disputed waters, upsetting Beijing. China has reportedly installed a missile defense system on the new islands.

We are today dealing closely and with greater cooperation with the US, China, Russia - the world's three biggest countries which have often been at odds with one another. It's true in the South China Sea.

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Geng said he hoped that Japan would respect the efforts made by China and the Asean countries in safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea, stop intervention and play a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability. Nicole Schwegman said all Navy operations "are conducted in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

Cayetano in fact said in a press conference on July 26: "What I've noticed about CSIS is they don't give you all the pictures".

Southeast Asian countries were seen to be making progress in the South China Sea dispute when foreign ministers from China and ten ASEAN countries endorsed the Conduct Code Framework in the South China Sea on August 6.

Four Asean members - the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam - have competing claims with China on this strategic route. "We would like to assure the public that if ever there are reports to the contrary, these will be carefully studied, verified and handled accordingly", DFA said.

China has offered to donate $14 million worth of military hardware to the Philippines, besides a soft loan for $500 million in Chinese arms.

The Philippines had successfully lobbied for the exclusion of militarization of land features in disputed waters in the ASEAN communiqué released at the conclusion of the foreign ministers' meeting in Manila recently.