The United States sailed two warships close to disputed islands in the South China Sea on Monday (Sunday night, ET), a move that is bound to draw the ire of Beijing.
The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands as part of what the US Navy calls a “freedom of navigation operation.”
The operation was carried out “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Cmdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman for the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, told CNN.
“All operations are designed in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” Doss said, adding “that is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe.”
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China strongly dissatisfied by U.S. warships entering South China Sea — CGTN
South China Sea: US destroyers enter disputed waters near Chinese installation at Mischief Reef — SCMP/Reuters
US sails 2 warships past disputed island chain in South China Sea — ABC News
Beijing insists on ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over South China Sea islands as US warships test troubled waters — SCMP