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China Claims It ‘Expelled’ U.S. Warship from South China Sea

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A Chinese frigate launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise near the Paracel Islands in 2016

The U.S. should fulfill its commitments to Beijing "abide by the one-China principle, and effectively respect China's position and concerns on the Taiwan issue", Yang said.

The Japan-based USS John S McCain made the routine transit in accordance with worldwide law, Lt. Joe Keiley, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, said in a statement.

According to the press release, the vessel transited the 100-mile-wide strait under global law, aimed to address Chinese maritime claims.

China has said today it is paying close attention to a U.S. warship that sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the first such voyage since the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

"As long as some countries continue to assert maritime claims that are inconsistent with worldwide law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and that purports to restrict unlawfully the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all States, the United States will continue to defend those rights and freedoms", Keiley added.

The US Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain challenged China's claims in the South China Sea on Friday.

The McCain's activities near the Paracels come just one day after the warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait, an worldwide waterway where China unlawfully expects foreign ships to seek permission before transiting the area.

"By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are beyond what China can lawfully claim as its territorial sea, and that China's claimed straight baselines around the Paracel Islands are inconsistent with worldwide law", the Navy said.

Last month, a USA aircraft carrier strike group entered the South China Sea for what the Navy said was routine operations.

Since mid-December, the passage of the USS McCain was the Navy's third in the area and comes amid increased US-China tensions, including Chinese warplanes' simulated attacks on US targets near Taiwan's air defense zone last week.

A total of 13 Navy warship passages were conducted a year ago under the Trump administration's strategy of stepped up naval and aerial operations aimed at pushing back against what the Pentagon regards as growing Chinese military hegemony in the region. -China relationship, which include a trade war, USA sanctions, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In addition to that, the USA is selling billions of dollars in arms to Taiwan.

"We seriously warn those "Taiwan independence" forces that those who play with fire will set themselves on fire", he said.

The Biden administration has not fully articulated its strategy towards China, the world's second largest economy, but has indicated it will broadly continue the tough approach taken by former President Donald Trump.

He explained that "unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the sea, including freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations".

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