Beijing expresses its anger as a U.S. passes close to man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea. Paul Chapman reports.
China warns U.S. over sea patrols
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
The U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen, seen here in file footage, is on a mission to challenge Beijing’s territorial limits in the disputed South China Sea.
U.S. defence officials say the ship sailed within a 12-nautical-mile limit around Subi reef which China’s built into an island.
They say it also took in Mischief Reef on the first in a series of exercises to test China’s territorial claims.
Chinese authorities said the ship entered its waters illegally.
China’s state CCTV television broadcast a statement by the country’s foreign minister.
It quoted Wang Yi as warning the U.S. “think again and not to act blindly or make trouble from nothing.”
U.S. defence officials say more patrols are planned for the coming weeks and may also take in similar features built up by Vietnam and the Philippines in the same area.
China claims most of the South China Sea despite rival claims by other nations. The U.S. says it’s made clear to Beijing the importance of a free flow of traffic.