From Update Philippines (May 26): China furious after US warship challenged claim in West PH Sea
China is furious after a United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Dewey (DDG 105) challenged its sovereignty claims in West Philippine Sea.
Early Thursday, May 25 the American warship sailed within the 12-nautical-mile waters off Panganiban (Mischief) Reef were an artificial Chinese island was established.
“China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said in a regular press briefing on same day.
“The relevant action of the US vessel undermined China’s sovereignty and security interests and is highly likely to cause untoward incidents in the waters and airspace,” he said.
“The Chinese side respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea to which all countries are entitled under international law, but firmly opposes the undermining of China’s sovereignty and security interests by any country in the name of the freedom of navigation and over-flight,” he added.
Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross said “we are continuing regular FONOPS, as we have routinely done in the past and will continue to do in the future.”
Dewey is part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group of US Navy 3rd Fleet. This is the third deploying group to operate within 7th Fleet’s area of operations. 3rd Fleet operating forward offers additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander by leveraging the capabilities of 3rd and 7th Fleets.