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China raises ‘combat readiness’ as US warships enter disputed waters

19 11 119

CHINA’S Defense Ministry says it will increase its “combat readiness” on Sunday after two US navy warships entered the disputed waters of the South China Sea on a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP).

The ministry said the Chinese military issued warnings to guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam and the USS Higgins to leave the waters after they “arbitrarily entered” the contested Paracel Islands in the waterway “without permission of the Chinese government”.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Chinese navy vessels were deployed “to conduct legal identification and verification of the US warships and warn them off.”

SEE ALSO: Philippines takes ‘diplomatic action’ after China lands bombers on islands


© Asian Correspondent