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U.S. Navy destroyer patrols near islands built by China in South China Sea

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Photographer
US NAVY

USS Lassen (DDG 82), (R) transits in formation with ROKS Sokcho (PCC 778) during exercise Foal Eagle 2015, in waters east of the Korean Peninsula, in this March 12, 2015, handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin Wright/Handout via Reuters

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Yahoo News

Reuters

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy sent a guided-missile destroyer within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea on Tuesday, a U.S. defense official said, in a challenge to China’s territorial claims in the area.

The official said the USS Lassen was sailing near Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago, features that were submerged at high tide before China began a massive dredging project to turn them into islands in 2014.

“The operation has begun … It will be complete within a few hours,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The mission would be the start of a series of challenges to China’s territorial claims in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, another U.S. defense official said.

 

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ZeroHedge

 

China’s Man-Made Military Island Outposts, The Dramatic Before And After Photos

There’s been no shortage of coverage both in these pages and elsewhere of China’s unprecedented land reclamation efforts in the Spratlys.

While China isn’t the first country to create new territory in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, the scope of Beijing’s development (some 3,000 acres) sets it apart and the construction of air strips and ports (not to mention the alleged stationing of artillery) has some of Washington’s regional allies especially concerned.

 

Fiery Cross:

Mischief:

 

Read More and See Additional Photos Here

 

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NBC News

Sep 18 2015, 5:04 am ET

China ‘Concerned’ at Call for U.S. Navy Patrol of Disputed Islands

Image: Still image from United States Navy video purportedly shows Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands
Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters Reuters

 

China said Friday it was “extremely concerned” about a suggestion from a top U.S. commander that U.S. ships and aircraft should challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea by patrolling close to artificial islands it has built.

China’s increasingly assertive action to back up its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea have included land reclamation and the construction of ports and air facilities on several reefs in the Spratly Islands.

The work has rattled China’s neighbors, in particular U.S. ally the Philippines, and raised concern in the United States.

China says it has irrefutable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and no hostile intent.

Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, told a Senate hearing Thursday that China’s building of three airfields on small islands and their further militarization was of “great concern militarily” and posed a threat to all countries in the region.

 

 

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