A U.S. navy warship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea on Tuesday, a U.S. Department of Defense official said, days after China warned criticism of its claims in the crucial waterway would rebound like a coiled spring.
The freedom of navigation operation by the USS William P. Lawrence, traveling within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, was to "challenge excessive maritime claims of some claimants in the South China Sea", Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said.
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