WASHINGTON — A United States naval destroyer was approaching waters near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea late Monday, the Pentagon said, directly challenging China’s claims that the artificial island chain is within its territorial borders.
The Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, was preparing to sail within 12 nautical miles of the islands, making a long-anticipated entry into the disputed waters, officials said. American officials did not inform their Chinese counterparts as they planned the provocative maneuver, saying that to do so...
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