US Actions in South China Sea Undermine Regional Dialogue – China Foreign Ministry

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BEIJING, May 25 (Sputnik) – Provocative US actions in the South China Sea derail the peace process in the Asia-Pacific region and undermine Chinese and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states’ attempts to improve the situation in the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer, USS Dewey, passed Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands claimed by China at a distance of 12 nautical miles (approximately 13.8 miles), according to media reports.
“Due to coordinated actions of China and ASEAN states the situation in the South China Sea is gradually improving and shows positive development, but the US actions have undermined this process of dialogue and consultations,” Lu said.
Lu noted that US action would not benefit the United States, but it would harm the other states.
The Asia-Pacific region faces several territorial disputes in South China and East China seas, involving China, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. China considers the Spratly archipelago as its territory, despite the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration decision that Beijing had no reasons for territorial claims in the South China Sea in July 2016.The arbitration proceeding was initiated by the Philippines in January 2013.