The U.S. has sent a destroyer near a Chinese artificial island in the South China Sea in a move that rejects Chinese claims to the reclaimed reefs.
This needed to happen!
As Reported By News USNI:
After months of deliberation, the U.S. has sent a guided missile destroyer within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese artificial island in the South China Sea in a move that practically rejects Chinese claims to the reclaimed reefs and has inflamed Beijing.
Late Monday USS Lassen (DDG-82) came within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef — off the western coast of the Philippines — on which the Chinese have built a weather monitoring station and other facilities, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry via a report in The Associated Press.
The Pentagon spokesman would not confirm the account to USNI News but said in a late Monday statement, “the United States is conducting routine operations in the South China Sea in accordance with international law. U.S. forces operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea.”
For its part the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said the move by the U.S. was provocative and threatened a commensurate response to the mission.
“China will resolutely respond to any country’s deliberate provocations,” the Ministry said in a statement.
“The actions of the U.S. warship have threatened China’s sovereignty and security interests, jeopardized the safety of personnel and facilities on the reefs, and damaged regional peace and stability.”
While China has confirmed Lassen came within 12 nautical miles— the distance of a country’s internationally recognized maritime boundary — and was contacted via radio it’s unclear what the ship did while in proximity to the island.
There is a stipulation in international maritime law known as “innocent passage” in which a warship
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