On July 2nd, 2017, US Navy’s destroyer, USS Stethem, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, a disputed island claimed by China in the South China Sea, according to Fox News.
China has treated the USS Stethem’s entry into their territorial waters off the Xisha Islands as a provocation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson,Geng Shuang, commented on the entry during a regular press conference on July 3rd, 2017.
“Under the pretext of ‘freedom of navigation’, the US side once again sent a military vessel into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without China’s approval. Its behavior has violated the Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China’s sovereignty, disrupted peace, security and order of the relevant waters and put in jeopardy the facilities and personnel on the Chinese islands, and thus constitutes a serious political and military provocation.
The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the relevant behavior of the US side.
The Chinese side strongly urges the US side to immediately stop such kind of provocative operations that severely violate China’s sovereignty and threaten China’s security. The Chinese side will continue to take all necessary means to defend national sovereignty and security,” said Shuang in a reply to a journalist.