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article imageUS Destroyer sent to South China Sea amid tension in Spratlys

By Leo Reyes     Jun 10, 2011 in Politics
The United States has sent one of the most formidable warships, the USS Chung-Hoon, a guided-missile destroyer to the South China Sea and Sulu sea amid tensions between China, Vietnam and the Philippines over the disputed Spratly Islands.
"Yahoo Online News said that USS Chung-Hoon, a guided-missile destroyer, has been sent on an independent deployment to the South China as well as to the Sulu Sea early this week to assert right of free passage in the region," Philstar.com reports.
“The ship will be sailing through waters that the US considers international waters to assert right of free passage and to demonstrate the international community does not accept national claims to the contrary,” the report said.
Earlier China and Vietnam have accused each other for their presence in the disputed territories. In an apparent move to flex its muscle in the tension-filled sea lanes, Vietnam had announced it will do ammunition or firing drill not far from the disputed islands.
Following Vietnam's announcement for next week's firing drill, China has castigated the Philippines for its protest based on what it called "rumors" on the alleged incursions by Chinese vessels.
The Philippines said it has documented close to six incursions by Chinese vessels and aircraft since February off the Reed Bank which the Philippines said was well within Philippine territory.
The Spratly Islands are being claimed in whole or in part by several countries in Southeast Asia including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan Brunei and the Philippines.
The islands reportedly sit on top of huge oil and gas deposits which have not been explored for commercial purposes.
China is claiming that the entire Spratly Islands are part of its territories.
More about Territorial claims, spratlys island, spratley, China, Vietnam
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