The US Navy destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) sailed close to an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, Reuters reported citing US officials.
On March 23, 2018, the destroyer reportedly approached Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, a disputed area.
The operation, called by the US Navy the freedom of navigation comes despite Chinese government’s efforts to control navigation in these waters.
Freedom of navigation operations are conducted by the US to challenge whatever excessive claims countries might have in disputed regions.
Earlier this year, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Hopper came within twelve miles of the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. China’s foreign ministry protested the move saying the destroyer sailed near the shoal without permission from the Chinese government.