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US to Assert Freedom of Navigation in South China Sea

“The Pentagon is considering sending US military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea,” according to The Guardian .  

“Ash Carter, the defence secretary, had requested options that included sending ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of reefs that China has been building up in the disputed Spratly Islands… Such a move would directly challenge Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the disputed region by adding territory through a massive island-building exercise.”  

“The practice of sending ships and aircraft near the islands would be in line with regular US military ‘freedom of navigation’ operations, which it conducted last year to challenge maritime claims of 19 countries including China.”

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