China Summons US Envoy Over Ship Incursion

China Summons US Envoy  Over Ship IncursionChina Summons US Envoy  Over Ship Incursion

China summoned the American ambassador to protest the US Navy’s sailing of a warship close to one of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, in an act that challenged Chinese sovereignty claims.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on its website on Wednesday that Executive Vice Minister Zhang Yesui told Max Bacaus that the US had acted in defiance of repeated Chinese objections and had threatened China’s sovereignty and security, AP reported.

While offering no details, Zhang said Tuesday’s “provocative” maneuver also placed personnel and infrastructure on the island in jeopardy, AP reported.

China was “extremely dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” the US actions, the ministry said. The US State Department declined to confirm the Tuesday meeting, or comment on any remarks made on the issue.

China says authorities monitored and warned the destroyer USS Lassen as it entered what China claims as a 12-mile (21-kilometer) territorial limit around Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands archipelago, a group of reefs, islets and atolls where the Philippines has competing claims.

The sail-past fits a US policy of pushing back against China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea. US ally the Philippines welcomed the move as a way of helping maintain “a balance of power”.

Since 2013, China has accelerated the creation of new outposts by piling sand atop reefs and atolls then adding buildings, ports and airstrips big enough to handle bombers and fighter jets—activities seen as attempting to change the territorial status by altering the geography.