via The Washington Post:
China scrambles fighter jets as U.S. destroyer steams past disputed island
by Simon Denyer and Thomas Gibbons-Neff | May 10, 2016
A U.S. warship sailed within 12 miles of one China’s largest artificial islands Tuesday, part of a continuing effort by the Pentagon to demonstrate that the United States remains undeterred by the rapid Chinese military build up in the South China Sea.
The presence of the USS William P. Lawrence, an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, prompted the Chinese military to scramble three fighter jets that monitored the destroyer, along with three Chinese ships, until the American vessel left the area.
The Lawrence passed near Fiery Cross Reef in what the Pentagon calls a freedom of navigation operation and exercised its “right of innocent passage,” according to Urban.
Two years ago Fiery Cross was little more than a cluster of rocks jutting out of the water, but in recent months the Chinese have built it into a military facility, complete with a runway, helicopter landing areas and a port. The installation is one of more than a half-dozen Chinese-developed islands in the disputed Spratly Islands. (Read More)
Read the full article at The Washington Post