Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey transits the South China Sea May 6, 2017. Picture taken May 6, 2017. Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
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A U.S. warship sailed near a reef claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea Thursday, a U.S. official said, the first such operation by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration in the disputed waterway.A Pentagon spokesman, Major Jamie Davis, said U.S. forces operate in the South China Sea on a daily basis and will fly and sail "wherever international law" allows.The U.S. has long argued that Beijing's actions in the South China Sea threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the strategically vital waters.China denies these claims, countering that the U.S. is eager to stoke tensions in the region.Under former President Benigno Aquino, the Philippines had adopted a tough stance on China's claims, which was tacitly backed by the U.S.
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