China on Thursday voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to a British Royal Navy warship trespassing into its territorial waters off the Xisha Islands.
The warship trespassed last Friday without permission of the Chinese government, and the Chinese side identified the British warship, warned and expelled it, said Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense.
The Xisha Islands are an inherent part of the Chinese territory, Ren said.
In accordance with the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the Chinese government promulgated the baseline of the territorial sea off the Xisha Islands in 1996, he added.
He stressed that the British act violated Chinese law and relevant international laws as well as infringed upon China's sovereignty.
Working together, China and ASEAN member states have cooled down and improved the situation in the South China Sea, according to Ren.
He said that some nations were deliberately stirring up trouble in the South China Sea and running in the opposite direction from countries in the region who aspire for stability, cooperation and development.
China will continue to take all necessary measures to defend its national sovereignty and security, he said.