Beijing slams U.S. warship sail-by in disputed waters

Jul 03, 2017, 7:58 AM EDT
(Source: Naval Surface Warriors/flickr)
(Source: Naval Surface Warriors/flickr)

In a blunt statement, China criticized the presence of a U.S. warship near the disputed islands in the South China Sea as “a serious political and military provocation” and retaliated by deploying military vessels and fighter jets to the area.

The U.S.S. Stethem sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island as part of America’s “freedom of navigation” program that recurrently challenges Beijing’s “excessive claims” in the South China Sea, writes the BBC.

In the past, Washington and Beijing have been at loggerheads over the latter’s aggressive militarization and land reclamation activities in the contested waters. Recently, the U.S. President Donald Trump has cozied up to his Chinese counterpart but his administration’s frustration over Beijing’s failure to rein in N. Korea continues to build up, notes Reuters.