China gets more aggressive towards US in South China Sea

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FILE PHOTO - Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION IS AVAILABLE IN OUR ARCHIVE. - RTX2OESQ

Beijing scrambled two jet fighters to intercept a US naval surveillance plane that flew too near to its coastline, said reports today.

The US plane flew over the South China Sea in what the Americans said was international airspace.

But the Pentagon said the two jet fighters unsafely intercepted the US aircraft.

The intercept occurred on the same day that a U.S. Navy ship sailed within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese-built artificial island in the South China Sea for the first time since President Donald Trump took office, said the Wall Street Journal.

The USS Dewey, a guided-missile destroyer, came within six nautical miles of Mischief Reef and conducted a man-overboard drill on Wednesday in a freedom-of-navigation operation challenging excessive maritime claims, U.S. officials said to The Journal.

China had warned it will intercept any vessels or air craft that would encroach on territories it has already marked as its own, despite illegally reclaiming land in the South China Sea.

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