Beijing ‘angered’ as 2 United States warships enter S. China Sea - spokeswoman

Gold Bars and Dollar

Gold Bars and Dollar

Reacting to the US' move, China accused Washington of trespassing in its territorial waters. When asked if the Navy's move would affect the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called it "a series of US tricks, "according to Reuters".

The United States is expected to keep pressing China on longstanding demands that it reform how it treats American companies' intellectual property in order to seal a trade deal that could prevent tariffs from rising on Chinese imports.

According to reports, the USS Spruance and USS Preble, both guided-missile destroyers, sailed within 22 km of the Spratly Island chain.

China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea, as do several of its neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal, Mischief Reef, and the adjacent waters", she insisted.

The Arleigh Burke destroyers Spruance and Preble on Monday conducted freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by worldwide law", said Cmdr. "You have observed very carefully, and observed a series of tricks by the US side".

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

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China's claim was largely discredited by an global arbitration tribunal three years ago, but Beijing has rejected the ruling.

The Chinese military has since bolstered its presence in the region, deploying military hardware and other defense systems.

"We conduct routine and regular freedom of navigation operations as we have done in the past and will continue to in the future", he said. In January, the destroyer USS McCampbell sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands.

The US has also sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait, drawing Beijing's ire.

During that operation, a Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of the USA warship, forcing it to maneuver to avoid a collision.

The Chinese foreign ministry on Monday said the People's Liberation Army Navy sent vessels to track the USA warships sailing near the Spratlys and warned them to leave the area. "We've got big interests there, so we're going to remain there", Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said recently.

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