China scrambles fighter jets as U.S. destroyer steams past disputed island

May 10, 2016 1:32 PM

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China scrambles fighter jets as U.S. destroyer steams past disputed island

BEIJING — 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.

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