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US ships in South China Sea twice in a week

According to CNN, the "territorial sea" refers to the waters within 12 nautical miles of a nation's coastline as recognized by international law.

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Washington: For the second time this week, a US Navy warship on Saturday sailed near the disputed Spratly Islands in “freedom of navigation operation”.

The 7th Fleet statement said, “The PRC, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines each claim sovereignty over some or all of the Spratly Islands. In violation of international law, the PRC, Vietnam, and Taiwan purport to require either permission or advance notification before a military vessel engages in “innocent passage” through the territorial sea of the relevant feature.”

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According to CNN, the “territorial sea” refers to the waters within 12 nautical miles of a nation’s coastline as recognized by international law.

“International law does not permit the unilateral imposition of any authorization or advance-notification requirement for innocent passage, so the United States challenged these requirements. By engaging in innocent passage without giving prior notification to or asking permission from any of the claimants, the United States challenged the unlawful restrictions imposed by the PRC, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The United States demonstrated that innocent passage is not subject to such restrictions.”

On Wednesday, the US Navy had conducted a similar mission in the Paracel Islands, which is also claimed by Vietnan and Taiwan.

In reply, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Col. Tian Junli, spokesman for the Southern Theater Command, said: “The actions of the US military have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security, seriously undermined the peace and stability of the South China Sea, and seriously violated international law and norms of international relations.”

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