The Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that, "the patrol only further justified China's construction of defense facilities in the area."
It said the standoff "proved that China's construction of defense facilities on… islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands is totally justified and very necessary." China already has a 10,000-foot runway on the reef.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Tuesday that the USS William P. Lawrence entered Chinese waters close to Fiery Cross Reef near the Spratly Islands illegally. The reef, called Yongshu in China, is also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines.