May 24, 2018 / 7:44 AM / a month ago

China slams U.S. for linking exercise cancellation to South China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Thursday criticized the United States for uninviting it from a major U.S.-hosted naval drill in response to what it sees as Beijing’s militarization of islands in the disputed South China Sea.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang points out a reporter to receive a question at a regular news conference in Beijing, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

China has sovereign rights in the South China Sea and it is not realistic for the United States to use this kind of action to try to coerce it, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard

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