Monday, October 24, 2016

U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur challenges China's claims in South China Sea

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea, drawing a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area.

The U.S. action was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, U.S. officials said. The Chinese Defense Ministry called the move "illegal" and "provocative," saying that two Chinese warships had warned the U.S. destroyer to leave.

The ship, which sailed near Triton and Woody Islands, was shadowed by three Chinese vessels.
USS Decatur challenged "excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. The Pentagon said the Decatur "conducted this transit in a routine, lawful manner without ship escorts and without incident."