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US sails warships close to disputed island chain in South China Sea

WASHINGTON: The US sailed two warships with reference to the disputed islands within the South China Sea on Monday to challenge China's over the top maritime claim, according to a media document which stated the move is bound to attract the ire of Beijing.

The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble sailed inside of 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands as part of what america Navy calls a "freedom of navigation operation," CNN reported.

Why is South China Sea so extremely contested?

The move more likely to anger Beijing at a time when america and China ton are locked in a business battle and are negotiating a deal ahead of a March 1 time limit when US price lists on $200 billion price of Chinese imports are anticipated to extend to 25 according to cent from 10 according to cent.

The Spratly Islands are a disputed team of islands, islets and cays and more than 100 reefs, from time to time grouped in submerged previous atolls, within the South China Sea. The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam.

China claims just about all of the South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim portions of it.

Monday's operation used to be carried out "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law," Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for america Navy's 7th Fleet, advised CNN.

"All operations are designed in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows," Doss stated, including "that is true in the South China Sea as in other places around the globe."

The operation used to be the second one within the South China Sea reported by way of america Navy this year. In January, the destroyer USS McCampbell sailed inside of 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands.

Shortly after that operation, China accused america of trespassing in its territorial waters- and stated it had deployed missiles "capable of targeting medium and large ships."

In overdue September, the USS Decatur also sailed inside of 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs within the Spratly Islands as part of a an identical freedom of navigation operation.

During that operation, a Chinese destroyer came inside of 45 yards of america warship, forcing it to maneuver to keep away from a collision. The US categorized the Chinese warship's actions unsafe and unprofessional, whilst Beijing stated america used to be threatening the protection and sovereignty of China.

The two countries have traded barbs over what US stated used to be Beijing's military set up construction on synthetic islands and reefs.

Over the final five years China has hastily built synthetic islands housing important military infrastructure on what had been low-lying reefs. The United States has criticised China for militarising the islands by way of developing long runways used by jet opponents and deploying anti-aircraft missiles.

China says the development is important for defence, and it used to be america that used to be liable for tensions by way of sending warships and military planes with reference to islands Beijing claims.

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