The USS Ralph Johnson. US Navy
A US Navy destroyer challenged China in the South China Sea with a freedom-of-navigation operation on Tuesday.
The USS Ralph Johnson sailed near the disputed Spratly Islands, the Navy said, adding in a statement that "unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas."
The operation, one of at least six such operations this year, comes after the US State Department officially rejected most of China's sea claims, declaring its maritime efforts to assert sovereignty unlawful.