China rejects 'ridiculous' US accusation of South China Sea militarisation

U.S. Navy: Chinese warships maneuvered in

The statement comes only days after recent news that two American naval vessels, the USS Higgins, a destroyer class ship, and the cruiser class USS Antietam, sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Island chain on May 27. "The Chinese government said that warships sailing in the disputed waters where China claims ownership is a serious infringement" of its "inherent territory".

Esperon also assured that the Duterte administration was not abandoning the Philippines' legal victory against China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, although it refused to assert the arbitration court's decision. "If anyone gets the natural resources in the Western Philippines Sea, South China Sea, he will go to war. We are not saying we are going to war, but if they oppress us that may force our hand, because we will not allow ourselves to be oppressed".

Since he assumed office in June 2016, President Duterte has sought to strengthen ties between Manila and Beijing that were strained by the maritime dispute.

China thought otherwise, calling the presence of the USA ships unauthorized and provocative.

-China relations and the growing rivalry between the two countries.

He added that the area was regarded as global waters and many countries wanted to exercise their freedom of navigation.

China dispatched heavy bombers to contested territories in the region in mid-May.

"China's continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and destabilize the region", a Pentagon spokesman, Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, said.

China expressed its anger, saying it had sent ships and aircraft to warn the USA warships to leave.

"This is necessary for trade, the preservation of the livelihood of the fisherfolk, and the timely delivery of basic necessities of the community in the municipality of Pag-asa", he said.

He said the government is also upgrading its military facilities on Pagasa Island, the largest of nine features the Philippines occupies in the West Philippine Sea.

Manila is pursuing a joint exploration agreement with Beijing for oil and natural gas reserves in their claimed territory in the South China Sea.

To register its objection to Beijing's rising militarization of its synthetic islands, america army on Might 23 disinvited China from biannual RIMPAC naval exercises. The sea covering 3.5 mn sq km borders Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and China and all have claims on the thousands of islands in the area.

Our diplomats are robustly engaged on this.

China's foreign minister said China had a right to take whatever measures it deemed fit on its island holdings, and the defense ministry criticized the US move as "unconstructive", saying it would do nothing to change China's resolve to "play a role in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region".

He told reporters on the flight that, despite the administration's focus on North Korea, other regional security issues, including the South China Sea, will be top priorities.

U.S. Navy Adm. Philip Davidson will take over PACOM from Adm. Harry Harris during the change of command on Wednesday.

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