- US Destroyer Armed with Missiles Enters S. China Sea in Challenge to Beijing’s Territorial Claims
A US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sailed next to a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing to stay clear of the region amid rising tensions between the two economic superpowers.
On Sunday, the USS Preble (DDG-88), armed with Tomahawk missiles, sailed along the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in order to “challenge” the Asian giant’s claim to the area. Washington has repeatedly refused to acquiesce to Chinese protests over its incursions into the sea, citing the principle of “freedom of navigation.”
“Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,”Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, stated.