U.S. Navy to send destroyer within 12 miles of Chinese islands

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 1:58 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy plans to send the USS Lassen destroyer within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea within 24 hours, a U.S. defense official said on Monday, the first of more regular challenges to China's territorial claims.

The destroyer's patrol would go near Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago, features that were formerly submerged at high tide before China began a massive dredging project to turn them into islands in 2014.

The ship would likely be accompanied by a P-8A surveillance plane, the official said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Sandra Maler)