Sunday, January 31, 2016

U.S. missile destroyer sailed close to island claimed by China

By Missy Ryan January 30 at 10:11 AM WashPost

A U.S. missile destroyer passed close to a tiny disputed island in the South China Sea late on Friday in the Pentagon’s latest assertion of U.S. naval freedom despite growing territorial feuds there.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the ship, the USS Curtis Wilbur, passed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, one of a series of coral islands and reefs known as the Paracel Islands, whose ownership is disputed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

“This operation was about challenging excessive maritime claims that restrict the rights and freedoms of the United States and others, not about territorial claims to land features,” Davis said in a statement early on Saturday.

China’s Ministry of Defense spokesman Yang Yujun said in a statement the U.S. action “severely violated the law.”

“It damaged the peaceful, safe and good order in relevant waters and is not beneficial to regional peace and stability,” said Yang.

(More here.)

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