US warships sail near South China Sea

Washington/Beijing, Feb 11  

The US sailed two guided-missile destroyers close to the disputed islands in the South China Sea on Monday to challenge China’s excessive maritime claim, drawing the ire of Beijing which accused Washington of trying to “stir up trouble”.

The USS Spruance and USS Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands as part of what the US Navy calls a “freedom of navigation operation,” CNN reported. The move angered Beijing at a time when the US and China ton are locked in a trade war and are negotiating a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when US tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese imports are expected to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent. Reacting to the US’ move, China accused Washington of trespassing in its territorial waters.

The US is “determined to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, create tension and undermine peace”, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. —  PTI

Beijing sees red

  • The move angered Beijing at a time when the US and China ton are locked in a trade war and are negotiating a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when US tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese imports are expected to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.
  • Reacting to the US' move, China accused Washington of trespassing in its territorial waters.