China accuses U.S. of violating sovereignty in South China Sea

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The Chinese government has accused the U.S. Navy of violating its territorial sovereignty by sailing close to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea.

The USS Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island without first letting Beijing know.

The landmass is also known as Scarborough Shoal; it consists of a ring of reefs lies about 143 miles from the Philippines in the South China Sea. They are claimed by several nations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that the USS Hopper “violated China’s sovereignty and security interests” and put the safety of nearby Chinese vessels “under grave threat.”

It said the frigate “immediately took actions to identify and verify the US ship and drove it away by warning” the U.S. ship off.

The recently released U.S. National Defense Strategy described China as a “strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea.” [source]

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