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Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Seoul's Envoy to China Says THAAD Dispute Must Be Resolved

Seoul's Envoy to China Says THAAD Dispute Must Be Resolved

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying also said that Chinese naval ships and fighter planes were deployed to "identify and verify the USA warship according to law and warn and expel it".

"The US military vessel's behavior violated China's law and global law, which severely impaired China's sovereignty and security interests and threatened the safety of the front-line personnel of both sides", Hua said. The Paracel archipelago is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while the Spratly Islands are additionally contested by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Earlier this week, the United States carried out the fourth freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea so far this year, after resuming the operations after a seven-month break in May.

South Korea's new ambassador to China said Tuesday conflict between the two countries over Seoul's deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the US "cannot continue this way".

It added that it would further strengthen its naval and air defenses.

"China will continue to take resolute measures to protect Chinese sovereign territory and maritime interests".

China's Foreign Ministry has also urged the U.S. to "respect the sovereignty and security" of the country and stop such "erroneous acts". China is North Korea's neighbor and biggest trading partner.

The Pentagon did not comment directly on the operation, but said the United States carried out regular freedom-of-navigation operations and would continue to do so.

China, in turn, has accused the United States of illegally trespassing into what it sees as its territorial waters. Even with stepped up FONOPs this year, the Trump administration hasn't changed the fundamentals of U.S. South China Sea policy, which continues to remain agnostic about sovereignty claims and focuses exclusively on freedom of navigation, overflight, and the preservation of global law and order in the region.

It comes as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in reining in North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. We urge the U.S. to respect Chinese sovereignty and security interests'.

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