China says U.S. aims to ‘stir up trouble’ with naval sail-by reports: “China accused the United States of trying to ‘stir up trouble’ on Monday by sending two US guided-missile destroyers near disputed South China Sea islands.

The two warships sailed near the Beijing-claimed Spratly Islands earlier Monday as part of what Washington calls ‘freedom of navigation operations’, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily press briefing.

The US is ‘determined to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, create tension and undermine peace’, Hua said.

She urged the US to cease the ‘provocative actions’.

The sail-bys — conducted by USS Spruance and USS Preble — occurred as both sides started crucial trade talks in Beijing this week, seeking to avoid an all-out trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Beijing asserts nearly all of the South China Sea as its territorial waters, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts…”

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