A US Navy destroyer has sailed close to a Chinese-built island in the disputed South China and carried out maneuver operations there, amid rising diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The USS Dewey traveled within 12 nautical miles of the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, known as Nansha in China, US officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity on Friday.
The South China Sea is the subject of a territorial dispute between China and its neighbors, including Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. The US has sides with China’s rivals in the dispute.
Beijing has repeatedly slammed Washington’s so-called freedom of navigation operations in the disputed waters, saying the US is militarizing the sea and deliberately escalating the situation in the key trade route.
China has not made any comments on the Reuters report yet.
Earlier in the day, the Chinese military’s official newspaper said the navy is…