China’s Foreign Ministry expressed anger on Monday after two US navy ships sailed near islands claimed by Beijing in the disputed South China Sea.

The ships entered the waters without China’s permission, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.The US warships sailed near the islands the same day that China resumed trade talks with Washington.

Hua said that China expressed firm opposition and dissatisfaction at the move. China claims a large part of the South China Sea, and has built artificial islands and air bases there, prompting concern around the region and in Washington.

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