Dow Jumps 100 Points as Trump White House Whipsaws on Trade War

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 11, 2019

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson also said the U.S. warships entered the waters without Beijing's permission.

The relevant action by the US side infringed upon China's sovereignty, and undermined the peace, security, and order of the relevant waters, Hua said, adding that China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard itself.

She demanded the USA "immediately stop its provocative actions" after the two United States guided-missile destroyers conducted what Washington called "freedom of navigation" exercises in the area.

Hua's warning came as both sides were in Beijing to prepare for a new round of talks this week.

Beijing and Washington are locked in a trade war and the two sides are trying to hammer out a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when USA tariffs on US$200 billion (S$271 billion) worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

"The relevant actions of the United States warships violated Chinese sovereignty, and undermined peace, security, and order in the relevant sea areas", Hua said.

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The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble travelled within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands, which China claims ownership of. Beijing says almost all of the South China Sea is its territory, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam also claim it partly.

Hua said the warships also neared the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratlys, which is under Philippines control.

She urged the USA to cease the "provocative actions". In September, a Chinese warship came within just 45 yards of a US destroyer, raising concerns about the possibility of tensions boiling over into conflict.

Navy spokesman Commander Clay Doss told U.S. media: "All operations are designed in accordance with global law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

Tensions have been high for years between Washington and Beijing in the South China Sea, with the USA regularly drawing Chinese ire.

But Hua slammed the US, arguing that "China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal, Mischief Reef, and the adjacent waters".

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