Pentagon weighs sending planes, ships near disputed South China Sea reefs




 
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May 13th, 2015  
News Manager
 

Topic: Pentagon weighs sending planes, ships near disputed South China Sea reefs


By Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon is considering sending U.S. military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, a U.S. official said on Tuesday. Defense Secretary Ash Carter requested options that include sending aircraft and ships within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of reefs that China has been building up in the Spratly island chain, the official said. "We are considering how to demonstrate freedom of navigation in an area that is critical to world trade," the U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that any options would need White House approval. It quoted U.S. officials as saying there was now growing momentum within the Pentagon and the White House for taking concrete steps in order to send Beijing a signal that the recent build up in the Spratlys had gone too far and needed to stop.




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