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McCain Asks Pentagon to Publicly Explain South China Sea Patrol

“The chairman of the influential U.S. Senate Armed Services committee has called on the Pentagon to clarify publicly the legal intent of a U.S. patrol last month within 12 nautical miles of an island China has built in the South China Sea,” Newsweek reports.  

“U.S. officials said last week that the U.S. Navy avoided military drills that could have further inflamed tensions with Beijing during the Oct. 27 patrol by the destroyer USS Lassen in the Spratly islands, an approach experts said could reinforce rather than challenge China’s sovereignty claims.”  

“Senator John McCain, the Republican head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a Nov. 9 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter it was vital there should be no misunderstanding about U.S. objectives.”

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