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Beijing accused the United States Tuesday of threatening its sovereignty by placing a warship near islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea.

"The "unsafe" interaction with a Chinese warship happened on Sunday while the US vessel was crossing near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea", according to USA defence officials.

The Decatur incident represented at least the second time this year that the usa has accused the Chinese navy of acting unprofessionally.

The American USS Decatur had to change its course when Chinese Luyang destroyer came within 45 yards of USS Decatur.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry revalidated today the rejection to the illegal entry of a US ship in jurisdictional waters and emphasized it is a threat to peace and stability of the region.

The Decatur had been conducting what the American military calls freedom of navigation operations, or missions to promote global lawfulness in oceanic territory claimed by multiple countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

She urged the United States to immediately correct its mistakes and stop such provocative operations in order to protect bilateral ties as well as regional peace and stability. "The Chinese army is firmly opposed to this". A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mattis was no longer going to China.

"The Chinese side strongly urges the US side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop such provocative operations", Hua said, adding that China would take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and security.

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The unsafe and aggressive manoeuvres by the U.S. and Chinese ships took place amid the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

"Our forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere worldwide law allows", Captain Brown said in a statement.

Australia has even announced that, in the face of a possible conflict, they will be re-opening a World War II-era naval base on New Guinea in order to more effectively project force in the South China Sea.

Though U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis played down recent disputes with China, a senior defense official told Fox News on Monday that Mattis would not be going to China, as had been previously planned.

Two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets intercepted a US Air Force radiation detection plane over the East China Sea, according to the US Pacific Air Forces.

There was no immediate comments from China.

"They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade", Trump said.

Also last week, China refused a port of call in Hong Kong to the U.S. Navy ship USS Wasp slated for October and pulled a top admiral from a scheduled meeting with his U.S. Navy counterpart.