U.S. Navy Ship Sails near Island Claimed by China
- Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) fire a M2HB .50-caliber machine gun during a gunnery exercise in the South China Sea. Curtis Wilbur is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Jonathan Peterson/Released)
- Maritime claims in the South China Sea Image by Wikipedia
A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an island claimed by China in the South China Sea on Saturday, in an operation the Pentagon said was designed to challenge efforts to restrict freedom of navigation.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said no ships from China's military were in the vicinity of the USS Curtis Wilbur when it carried out the operation near Triton Island in the Paracel Islands.
"This operation challenged attempts by the three claimants - China, Taiwan and Vietnam - to restrict navigation rights and freedoms," Davis said.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Louise Ireland)