China protests latest US Navy mission in South China Sea

BEIJING (AP) - China said it had dispatched ships and planes to chase U.S. guided missile destroyer John S. McCain as it passed near Chinese islands in the South China Sea.
The People's Liberation Army accused the US warship of entering Chinese territorial waters near the Paracel Islands - known as Xisha by China - on Friday.
PLA Southern Theater Command spokesman Colonel Zhang Nandong said Beijing urges the US to end such actions, calling them "obvious navigational hegemony and military provocation" that "seriously violate China's sovereignty and security interests, and peace and stability." in southern China's seriously endangered sea. "
"We urge the US side to immediately stop such provocative actions, strictly administer and control its sea and air force operations so as not to cause contingency," Zhang was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency.
China claims sovereignty over practically the entire South China Sea, which is also wholly or partially claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Tensions between China and Indonesia have also increased due to the activities of Chinese fishing vessels, the coast guard and the navy in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.
China ignored a 2016 arbitration ruling that voided most of its South China Sea territorial claims, but encountered continued backlash from the U.S., its allies, and China's Southeast Asian neighbors to consolidate its control in the disputed area.

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