China denounces 'relevant countries' after US carrier deploys to South China Sea

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The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 4, 2017. SEAN CASTELLANO/U.S. NAVY PHOTO
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The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 4, 2017. SEAN CASTELLANO/U.S. NAVY PHOTO

China denounces 'relevant countries' after US carrier deploys to South China Sea

by: Erik Slavin | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: February 23, 2017

China has denounced “relevant countries” for threatening sovereignty and security in the South China Sea, following the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson carrier battle group on a routine patrol in the sea’s international waters.

“China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight that countries enjoy in the South China Sea under international law,” China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday in a press conference transcript posted to the ministry’s website. “But we oppose relevant countries threatening and undermining the sovereignty and security of coastal states under the pretext of such freedom. We hope that relevant countries can do more for regional peace and stability.”

The Navy regularly patrols the South China Sea, where more than $1.2 trillion in U.S. trade transits annually. China maintains an ambiguous claim to about 90 percent of the sea through markings on a map known as the nine-dash line.

The line was ruled noncompliant with international maritime law by an international tribunal in July, but China has ignored that ruling.

The Vinson carrier group began operations in the South China Sea on Saturday, according to a Navy statement.

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