HONG KONG U.S. destroyers have sailed close to Chinese-held reefs and islands in the disputed South China Sea in recent weeks, U.S. naval officials said on Thursday, patrols likely to fuel tension ahead of landmark ruling over Beijing's maritime claims.
The destroyers Stethem, Spruance and Momsen have been patrolling near Chinese-held features in the Spratlys archipelago and the Scarborough Shoal, which is near the Philippines, the officials said. The patrols were first reported by the Washington-based Navy Times newspaper.
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