Beijing summons US ambassador over warship in South China Sea

Chinese foreign ministry says Washington acted illegally when USS Lassen entered waters near disputed Spratly archipelago.

The Guardian, By Tom Phillips, October 27

Beijing – China has reportedly summoned the US ambassador after Washington launched a direct military challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea with naval manoeuvres near two artificial islands.

State television reported that the Chinese vice-foreign minister, Zhang Yesui, had branded the move “extremely irresponsible” when meeting with the US ambassador to China, Max Baucus.

Chinese authorities said earlier they had monitored, followed and warned US warship USS Lassen as it “illegally” entered waters near the disputed reefs, and urged Washington to “immediately correct its mistake”.

The USS Lassen began its mission through waters near the disputed Spratly archipelago at about 6.40am local time on Tuesday.

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