The US Navy sailed close to a Chinese language-militarized South China Sea island

(CNN) — The US Navy has despatched a destroyer close to a disputed island within the South China Sea that Beijing has fortified with navy installations to assert territorial rights within the area.

When navigation occurred The Chinese language military encircled Taiwan on the third day.1,600 kilometers close to the northern entrance to the South China Sea, in response to a quick US go to by Taiwan’s president.

The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet stated in a press release Monday that the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius handed inside 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in China’s Spratly Islands, often known as the Nansha Islands, the internationally acknowledged restrict of the nation’s territorial waters.

Mischief Reef, positioned within the Philippine Unique Financial Zone, is claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. However Beijing has asserted its rights by increase the island and placing up navy infrastructure.

The US says such actions violate the Conference on the Legislation of the Sea.

“A territorial sea has no declare to locations corresponding to naturally occurring high-tide submersible reefs. Land reclamation efforts, services and constructions constructed on Mischief Reef don’t alter this character below worldwide regulation,” the US seventh Fleet stated in a press release.

China claims the whole huge South China Sea as a part of its territorial waters, together with a number of islands and distant inlets in disputed waters, lots of which Beijing has militarized.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Milius conducts a freedom of navigation train within the South China Sea on Friday. (Credit score: MC1 Greg Johnson/United States Navy)

A spokesman for the Folks’s Liberation Military’s Southern Theater Command stated the US destroyer had “illegally trespassed” in China’s waters close to Mischief Reef, often known as Beijing Meiji Reef.

“China has indeniable sovereignty over islands within the South China Sea and their adjoining waters,” Air Power Senior Col. Tian Junli stated in a press release.

A US destroyer Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) protected the best of any nation’s ships to function within the space, the seventh Fleet assertion stated.

US warships routinely conduct this kind of FONOP within the South China Sea Milius’ second in three weeksIt sailed close to the Paracel Islands, often known as the Jisha Islands in China, within the northern a part of the South China Sea on March 23.

“Whatever the location of extreme maritime claims and no matter present occasions, the USA will fly, lead and function wherever worldwide regulation permits,” the Seventh Fleet stated in a press release Monday.

After the FONOP in March, Beijing stated the US had violated its sovereignty whereas “undermining peace and stability within the South China Sea,” Chinese language Protection Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei stated.

The US FONOP on Monday got here as Chinese language forces entered a 3rd day of large-scale navy workout routines across the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan, north of the South China Sea, which the ruling Chinese language Communist Social gathering claims as its territory. He by no means dominated.

Beijing started operations round Taiwan on Saturday, a day after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a 10-day journey to Central America and the USA, the place she met with Home of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Beijing has repeatedly warned in opposition to Sai’s assembly with McCarthy and has beforehand threatened to take “agency and decisive motion” if it occurs.

— CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed to this report.