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China says it has turned away an American ship that would have illegally entered its area; USA deny

China’s military said on Thursday it had monitored and turned away a US destroyer that illegally entered the waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

In a statement, the military said the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius had invaded China’s territorial waters, undermining peace and stability on the busy waterway.

“The theater forces will maintain a state of high alert at all times and take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security, peace and stability in the South China Sea,” said Tian Junli, spokesman for voice of the South China Theater Command.

The US Navy on Thursday disputed the Chinese military statement, saying the destroyer was conducting “routine operations” in the South China Sea and had not been expelled.

“The United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law permits,” said a statement from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet.
Tension between the United States and China has been growing in the region.

The United States has been consolidating alliances in Asia-Pacific, seeking to contain China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, while Beijing seeks to advance its territorial claims.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Gerry Doyle)

Source: CNN Brasil

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