China island-building still on

China island-building still on

"China is resolutely opposed to this kind of show of force and pushing of regional militarization by the US that may easily cause an unexpected incident at sea or in the air", China's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The operation occurred at an awkward and tense moment in the region, amid the war of words between the United States and North Korea.

Experts and officials have criticised President Barack Obama for potentially reinforcing China's claims by sticking to innocent passage, in which a warship effectively recognised a territorial sea by crossing it speedily without stopping.

In July, the USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in the South China Sea for the second "fonop".

"Its behaviour has violated the Chinese law and relevant worldwide law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, disrupted peace, security and order of the relevant waters and put in jeopardy the facilities and personnel on the Chinese islands, and thus constitutes a serious political and military provocation".

Wang's claim "is false" and China's reclamation work "did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys", said the report.

Geng said, "China has the firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests". The Department of Foreign Affairs did not comment further on the issue.

"We urge the Japanese side to draw lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development and act with caution in military and security fields", Mr Geng said, asking Japan to do more to help enhance mutual trust in politics and security between the two countries, instead of doing the opposite.

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China, which claims virtually the entire South China Sea, routinely protests such operations.

"They happen off the coast of Canada" and "in the waters off shore of our major allies, friends, partners all around the world", she said.

Missile systems and other defense infrastructure are believed to have also been installed on the islands, which the United States and China's neighbors fear could be used to project Chinese power into the area and potentially obstruct freedom of navigation.

The USS John S McCain destroyer cnducted a fereedom of navigation patrol in disputed waters of the South China Sea on Thursday.

On the other hand, China stressed that all its activities in this area are carried out in accordance with the global law and that Japan is not in a stance to interfere.

The Pentagon declined to provide any details but said that all operations are conducted in accordance with worldwide law.

The archipelago is claimed in its entirety by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines.

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