China Summons US Ambassador over Vessel Patrol

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Beijing: China has summoned the United States ambassador to protest against a US ship patrol near a group of man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Chinese state television said Tuesday that Max Baucus was summoned to China’s Foreign Ministry to hear Beijing’s strong criticism of the naval patrol close to its man-made islands.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui called the ship’s presence in the vicinity of the islands “extremely irresponsible,” and called on Washington to refrain from actions that harm China’s sovereignty and security interests.

The ministry had earlier issued a harsh statement over the patrol, saying it is strongly opposed to the sailing of the military ships in the 12-mile (21-kilometer) territorial limit around Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands archipelago.

Officials in Washington reject China’s claims about the islands, saying the artificial reefs and islets cannot be considered sovereign territory.

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