BEIJING: China says it will take “all necessary” measures in response to any future U.S. Navy incursions into what it considers its territorial waters around islands in the South China Sea.
The statement Thursday by Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Yang Yujun follows the sailing of a U.S. guided missile destroyer within what China considers the 12-nautical mile (22-kilometer) territorial limit around one of its newly created islands in the strategically vital region. The U.S. refuses to recognize the man-made islets as deserving of sovereign territory status.
Yang reiterated Beijing’s claim that the USS Lassen violated Chinese sovereignty and international law, although the sail-by appeared to fall under internationally allowed “innocent passage” rules. Yang gave no details of China’s claims and offered no specifics about how Beijing would respond in the future.