China Urges US Not to Patrol the Disputed Islands
American guided missile destroyer USS Lassen is patrolling within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in an operation, which is to be completed "within a few hours." At the same time Beijing claims sovereignty over the seven artificial islands it had built over the past year and the 12-nautical-mile radius around them.
"We are verifying the reports, if true, we advise the US to think and not act rashly or make much ado about nothing," the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
Earlier in October, the US Navy was reportedly set to send a surface ship inside the territorial boundary China has drawn around the Spratly Islands within days, pending White House approval. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at the time the move "should not provoke" Beijing.
The United States has warned it does not recognize the sovereignty of the Chinese claims, and has repeatedly raised concerns over Beijing’s activities in the region.