Chinese Defense Ministry warns US over its navy ship sailing near Huangyan Island
China's Defense Ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Wu Qian confirmed on Saturday that Chinese frigate "Huangshan" conducted an identification check after a US destroyer illegally entered waters near Huangyan Island in the South China Sea and warned it to leave.
The USS Hopper, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Chinese island on Wednesday evening without Chinese government's permission.  
Wu said the situation in the South China Sea has become more stabilized after joint efforts between China and ASEAN countries. However, the US has repeatedly dispatched ships to waters near islands in the area, which threatened China's sovereignty and security and harmed regional peace and stability.
The behavior of the US Navy runs counter to the momentum of stable development between Sino-US relations, Wu said.
"[The] US should respect China's sovereignty and the efforts made among countries in the region," Wu noted, adding that the Chinese navy will continue to carry out its defense duties while increasing patrol in the area. The Chinese army will firmly defend the country's sovereignty and security and maintain the peace and stability of the region, he said.
Huangyan Island in the South China Sea /VCG Photo

Huangyan Island in the South China Sea /VCG Photo

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said "necessary measures" will be taken to safeguard the country's sovereignty when responding to relevant questions from the press. 
According to Lu, the Chinese Navy has conducted an identification and warning process to drive the US warship away.  
Lu said the US warship has impaired China's sovereignty and security interests and caused a serious threat to Chinese vessels and personnel working in the area.  
The spokesperson said the US side's behavior has broken basic protocols of international relations, voicing China's strong dissatisfaction. 
"China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty," he said.  
Lu reiterated that China has indisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Island and its adjacent waters.  
"China respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea for all countries in accordance with international law, but resolutely opposes any country's move to impair China's sovereignty and security interests in the name of freedom of navigation and overflight," Lu said.  
"We strongly urge the US to rectify its mistake immediately and cease this kind of provocation so as not to harm Sino-US relations and regional peace and stability," he said.
(Cover Photo: Reuters' file photo of the USS Hopper, a guided missile destroyer)
(With input from Xinhua)