‘Do not challenge our sovereignty’: China warns US against fresh naval patrols in South China Sea
Responding to reports of United States planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea, China today warned US against challenging its sovereignty.
"We urge the US not to take any actions that challenge China's sovereignty and security," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
Shuang further said that tension in the South China Sea had stabilised due to the hard work between China and Southeast Asia countries and advised foreign countries against interfering in this matter.
On Sunday, a few media reports suggested that US Navy and Pacific Command leaders were considering freedom of navigation patrols in the busy waterway by the San Diego-based Carl Vinson carrier strike group, citing unnamed defence officials.
The United States last conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the area in October, when it sailed the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur near the Paracel Islands and within waters claimed by China.
China lays claim to almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea which is crucial for maritime trade.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim parts of the waters that command strategic sea lanes and have rich fishing grounds, along with oil and gas deposits.