VIDEO: American Warship Visits China amid Tensions in South China Sea

Mon Aug 8, 2016 17:06:40

A US Navy guided missile destroyer arrived in the northern Chinese port of Qingdao on Monday in the first visit by an American warship to the country since Beijing responded angrily to an arbitration panel's ruling that its expansive South China Sea maritime claims had no basis in law.

The USS Benfold docked at Qingdao, the home port of China's northern fleet.

Speaking briefly to media, Commander Justin L. Harts said the visit aimed to "build relationships" with counterparts from the Chinese Navy, but referred questions on tensions in the South China Sea to Pacific Command in Hawaii.

Admiral Scott Swift, the top US naval officer in Asia, is also meeting with media on Tuesday.

China rejected last month's ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in a case initiated by the Philippines, and refused to take part in the arbitration.

S/SH 11

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