China "displeased" as US Navy destroyer passes near artificial island

South China Sea

South China Sea

China's air force chief defended military manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan - also known as the East Sea - saying the waters did not belong to Tokyo, after a Japanese defence review warned of increasing Chinese military activity there.

USS John S McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, came within 12 miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

But Cayetano failed to persuade his fellow foreign ministers and included the issue of reclamation and militarization in the customary joint communique. Well, the world superpower United States and the hermit state North Korea provoking each other on firing nukes.

Beijing has also urged Washington to respect "the joint efforts of the regional countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea".

According to Reuters, the maneuver by the USS John S. McCain was the third in a "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop".

A leading US think-tank, meanwhile, released a new report documenting what it said was continuing reclamation work on Chinese-controlled islands in the area despite a recent claim by China's foreign minister that such work had stopped two years ago.

This decision came after the China-ASEAN Framework for the South China Sea's code of conduct was initiated.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen to tread softly on the territorial dispute and refused to invoke the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that recognized the Philippines' claims over China's.

At a time when China and Southeast Asian countries have agreed to solve and manage the South China Sea issue through bilateral talks and to avoid influence by nonregional forces, the United States behavior shows that Washington wants to maintain its presence in the region, instead of solving the issue, Zhou said.

AMTI said China has been intensifying its military capabilities in the Paracel Islands.

"They called and said 'Please turn around, you are in our waters, '" he said.

At the same time, the US Pacific Command is also keen on admonishing China as an aggressor in the hotly-contested waterway, through which trade worth $5tn passes each year. "We told them we are a USA [ship] conducting routine operations in global waters".

In August 2015, AMTI claimed that two months after Wang Yi claimed all Chinese reclamation had ended, there was only a small amount of newly created land on the western end of Tree Island.

Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei - all ASEAN members - as well as Taiwan.

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