In Summary
  • The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble sailed near the Beijing-claimed Spratly Islands earlier Monday.
  • The sail-bys were conducted as both sides prepared for crucial trade talks in Beijing this week, seeking to avoid an all-out trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

BEIJING,

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 guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble 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".

TRADE TALKS

Page 1 of 2