China says US warship violated sovereignty near Scarborough


The Chinese government on Saturday accused the U.S. of trespassing in its territorial waters when a U.S. guided missile destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China would take “necessary measures” to protect its sovereignty after the USS Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal on Wednesday evening without China’s permission.

Scarborough is a tiny, uninhabited reef that China seized from the Philippines in 2012. Known in Chinese as Huangyan Island, it lies about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of the main Philippine island of Luzon, and about 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of China.

Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said a Chinese missile frigate moved to identify and verify the U.S. vessel and warned it to leave the area.

“We hope that the U.S. respects China’s sovereignty, respects the efforts by regional countries and do not make trouble out of nothing,” Wu said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

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