China says US aims to 'stir up trouble'
By AFPMore by this AuthorBEIJING,China on Monday accused the United States of trying to "stir up trouble" by sending two US destroyers near disputed South China Sea islands. The US is "determined to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, create tension and undermine peace", Hua said. Beijing asserts nearly all of the South China Sea as its territorial waters, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts. The US and its allies periodically send planes and warships near South China Sea islands and reefs claimed by Beijing to signal their right under international law to pass through the waters, invariably angering China. In mid-January, US and British warships conducted their first joint military exercises in the South China Sea since Beijing began building bases and air strips on islands.