The United States Navy sent a destroyer warship on Monday to challenge territorial claims made by China in the South China Sea, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed US defense official. The official said the USS Lassen was nearing the Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago, features that were submerged during high tide until China’s armed forces began a dredging project to turn them into islands around which it now claims a 12-nautical-mile territorial limit. Additional patrols would follow in coming weeks and could also be conducted around features that Vietnam and the Philippines have built up in the Spratlys, the US official said.
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