The USS Decatur was as close as 41 metres to China’s Luyang destroyer when the US warship sailed into the Gaven and Johnson reefs in the Spratlys in September. Photo: US Navy/AP

US steps up freedom of navigation patrols in South China Sea to counter Beijing’s ambitions

  • Two of the operations have already been carried out in the disputed waters this year and American officials have signalled there will be more to come
  • Observers say the pressure is unlikely to deter Beijing
Topic |   South China Sea

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The USS Decatur was as close as 41 metres to China’s Luyang destroyer when the US warship sailed into the Gaven and Johnson reefs in the Spratlys in September. Photo: US Navy/AP
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