Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey transits the South China Sea May 6, 2017. (Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS)
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Beijing said Saturday it had dispatched a warship to drive away a U.S. missile destroyer which had "violated" its sovereignty by sailing close to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea.The U.S.S. Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island on the night of January 17 without alerting Beijing, the foreign ministry said, referring to the shoal by its Chinese name.Beijing asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbours and has rapidly built reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military planes.China seized Scarborough Shoal in 2012 after a brief stand-off with the Philippine navy.
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