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US-China tensions

Chinese military spokesperson tells US to halt provocative actions

Destroyer John McCain entered waters around the disputed territory

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago.   © Reuters

HONG KONG  (Reuters) -- A Chinese military spokesperson said on Friday that the U.S. destroyer John McCain had entered waters around the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea claimed by China without China's permission.

"We demand the U.S. immediately stop such provocative actions, (and) strictly control and restrict military operations in the sea and air," the spokesperson said in a post on an official WeChat account.

The spokesperson also said it would take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

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