On Oct. 20, President Barack Obama authorized the US Pacific Command to send warships into the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China. On Tuesday, the destroyer USS Lassen “conducted a transit” within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef in the Spratly archipelago. The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was also sent to monitor the mission.
US officials noted that the US vessel would have been in an area considered Chinese sovereign territory if the US recognized the islands as belonging to China.
China strongly objected the US actions, with the Chinese foreign ministry, foreign minister Wang Yi, the Chinese embassy in Washington, and the country’s official Xinhua news agency all condemning the move. Continue reading