China has vowed to take “necessary measures” to protect its sovereignty after a US navy destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea this week.
China’s foreign ministry said the missile destroyer USS Hopper came within 12 nautical miles – an internationally recognised territorial limit – of Huangyan Island, which is also known as Scarborough Shoal and subject to a rival claim by the Philippines. Two US officials confirmed it.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the patrol was in line with international law and was an “innocent passage”, in which a warship effectively recognises a territorial sea by crossing it quickly, without stopping.
The US military says it carries…
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