Beijing expresses anger at US Navy mission through disputed South China Sea

Mail Online | 2/6/2013 | Kelsey Cheng For Mailonline;Reuters
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Beijing has voiced its 'strong dissatisfaction' with the United States on Monday after two US warships sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea.

Guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble entered the waters without permission from China, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

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She demanded the US 'immediately stop its provocative actions' after the two destroyers conducted what Washington called 'freedom of navigation' exercises in the area.

Beijing and Washington are locked in a trade war and the two sides are trying to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

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Escalating tensions between the United States and China have cost both countries billions of dollars and roiled global financial markets.

'Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,' said Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the US Navy's Seventh Fleet cited by CNN.

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'The relevant actions of the US warships violated Chinese sovereignty, and undermined peace, security, and order in the relevant sea areas,' Hua said. 'The Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.'

'China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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