The US has said it plans to return to contested areas of the South China Sea, with a top military commander saying it has conducted similar operations worldwide “for decades”.
The sailing of a US warship within an area claimed by China last week angered Beijing, which issued a warning.
Adm Harry Harris, speaking in Beijing, said such moves should surprise no-one.
An unnamed US official earlier told Reuters similar patrols would take place at least “twice a quarter”.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen breached the 12-nautical mile zone that China claims around the Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.
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