US to send naval ships to patrol South China Sea

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The United States has told nations in Southeast Asia it will send naval vessels soon into what China claims as its territory in the disputed South China Sea (also officially referred to as the West Philippine Sea in Manila), diplomatic sources said Sunday.

The United States is expected to sail warships within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands that China has created in the Spratly Islands, in defiance of opposition from other claimants, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, the sources said.

The 12-nautical-mile zone delimits territorial seas under a UN convention. (Kyodo)

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