Sky News Australia reports:
Beijing has warned that it will ‘firmly oppose’ infringement of its sovereignty after indications Washington will soon send warships close to its artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Tensions have mounted since China transformed reefs in the area – also claimed by several neighbouring countries – into small islands capable of supporting military facilities, a move that the US says threatens freedom of navigation.
Senior officials in Washington have signalled that the US military could sail close by the islands in the coming days or weeks to demonstrate that Washington does not recognise a Chinese claim to territorial waters around them.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday said that the country respected freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, but would ‘firmly oppose infringement of sovereignty under that pretext’.
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