Chinese warships and fighters met the American destroyer USS Stethem, which sailed near the disputed island of Xisha in the South China Sea, which is occupied by Bejing. It was stated in the Foreign Affairs' Ministry of the PRC, accusing the United States of violating China's sovereignty.

China protested against the entering of the U.S. Navy destroyer in the disputed waters' island

China expressed a strong protest against the actions of the United States and called the US Navy destroyer entering the waters of the disputed islands a serious military and political provocation that threatens the infrastructure and personnel located on the Xisha.

Taiwan and Vietnam also claimed that the USS Stethem had passed 22 kilometers (around 12 nautical miles) from Xisha in the South China Sea, news reported by AFP. This is considered as the second freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) which has been conducted under United States President Donald Trump.

On Thursday, the White House authorized a $1.3 billion arms sale to Taiwan, which was considered a rebel province by China. On the same day, Trump's administration imposed sanctions on a shipping company for helping North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and on two Chinese citizens and a Chinese bank that was accused by the US Treasury Department of laundering North Korean cash.

The statement by Chinese spokesman of the Foreign Affairs' Ministry

According to the statement by the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Lu Kang, the islands of Xisha are an original territory of China. The Chinese government made known the baseline of the territorial sea off the Xisha Islands in 1996.

The U.S. under the pretext of "navigation freedom," once again sent a warship that entered the water area of the Chinese islands of Xisha without authorization, violating the laws of China. China also claims that it also broke international laws, violating China's security, sovereignty, and order in these waters.

China also called on the U.S.

to stop actions that seriously violate its sovereignty and threaten its security. Lu Kang said that China reserves the right to take all necessary actions to protect state sovereignty and security.

American warships regularly enter disputed territorial waters and in this case, China responded with protest. The White House had earlier said that such actions were made to protect free shipping in the area.