UPDATED 5:43 AM PT — Monday, May 20, 2019
China is hitting back the U.S., yet again, after an American naval vessel conducted a routine navigation in the South China Sea.
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang claimed the U.S. is “abusing its freedom of navigation” in the waterway, and accused the White House of trying to “disturb regional peace and stability.” Beijing has attempted to claim sole-ownership over the sea, which is used as a trade and transportation hub by several nations.
Chinese officials said the operations could have a negative impact on trade negotiations.
“We strongly urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative actions, so as not to undermine Sino-U.S. relations and regional peace and stability,” stated Kang. “China will continue to do what it needs to protect its national sovereignty and security, and uphold the peace and stability of the South China Sea.”
This was the second such navigation by a U.S. ship in the sea in the last month. Last week, an America naval official said its freedom of navigation movements in the region were “drawing more attention than they deserved.”