China warns U.S. not to encroach on its sovereignty in disputed South-China Sea area

China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.

On Sunday, the Navy Times reported that U.S. Navy and Pacific Command leaders were considering freedom of navigation patrols in the busy waterway by the San Diego-based Carl Vinson carrier strike group, citing unnamed defense officials.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said tension in the South China Sea had stabilized due to the hard work between China and Southeast Asia countries, and urged foreign nations including the U.S. to respect this.

"We urge the U.S. not to take any actions that challenge China's sovereignty and security," Geng told a regular news briefing on Wednesday.

The United States last conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the area in October, when it sailed the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur near the Paracel Islands and within waters claimed by China.

More at Reuters.

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