BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- China firmly opposes the United States repeatedly sending warships and military aircraft to the South China Sea to conduct targeted and provocative joint drills and strategic cruises, according to a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense Thursday.
Spokesperson Ren Guoqiang made the remarks at a press conference when commenting on the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell's trespassing into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands, which are in the South China Sea, without permission on March 10.
In response, the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army organized naval and air forces to track, verify, identify and warn the ship off, Ren said, adding that China has lodged stern representations with the United States.
Noting that the Xisha Islands are indisputably China's inherent territory, Ren said the U.S. warship's move had seriously infringed on China's sovereignty and undermined security.
The Chinese military will take all necessary steps to safeguard national sovereignty and security resolutely, Ren said.
At the moment, the situation in the South China Sea sees a continuous positive trend thanks to the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, Ren said.
The provocative actions made by the United States under the pretext of "freedom of navigation" have posed a threat to the security of the littoral countries along the South China Sea and undermined peace and stability in the region, which is firmly opposed by China, Ren said.