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
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

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
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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