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Chinese military spokesperson tells U.S. to halt provocative actions

FILE PHOTO: The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain prepares to depart from dry dock at Fleet Activities Yokosuka after an extensive maintenance period in Yokosuka, Japan, November 27, 2018. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyra Watson/U.S. Navy/Handout via 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.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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