File photo of a Chinese H-6k bomber patrolling Huangyan island in July 2016. /Xinhua Photo
China on Monday expressed strong dissatisfaction over and resolute opposition to a U.S. warship's sailing near China's Huangyan Island.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the U.S. destroyer Preble on Sunday trespassed in the adjacent waters of China's Huangyan Island without permission from the Chinese government.
Lu noted the Chinese Navy identified and verified the U.S. warships according to law, and warned them off. The trespass of U.S. warships is a violation of China's sovereignty. It undermines peace, security and good order in the relevant waters. China deplores and firmly opposes such moves.
China has all along respected and upheld the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea that countries are entitled to under international law, stressed the spokesperson. He added, however, that China is firmly opposed to actions that damage the sovereignty and security of littoral states under the pretext of "freedom of navigation and overflight."
Under such circumstances, the deliberate attempt by the U.S. to provoke trouble and create tension to disrupt the peace and stability of the South China Sea goes against people's common aspiration, Lu noted.
He also pointed out China urges the U.S. to immediately stop such provocations and show its respect through concrete actions to regional countries' efforts to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
China will continue to take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its sovereignty and security and to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, Lu added.