White House confirms freedom-of-navigation operation in South China Sea

Seaman Kyren Mounsombath updates navigational information on the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, in the South China Sea on October 12, 2016. — Reuters pic
Seaman Kyren Mounsombath updates navigational information on the bridge of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, in the South China Sea on October 12, 2016. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, Oct 22 — The White House confirmed yesterday that a US Navy warship sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea and said the operation was meant to uphold nations’ rights to navigation under international law.

“This operation demonstrated that coastal states may not unlawfully restrict the navigation rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise under international law,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing. — Reuters 

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