According to the US military, one of its warships had sailed close to the Scarborough Shail which is claimed by China on Sunday, 19 May, reported Reuters. Amid prevailing tensions between the US and China, the world's two biggest economies, this move could anger Beijing.
The Scarborough Shoal is one point of contention among many, especially at a time of the escalating trade war.
A US militarty spokesman told Reuters that US destroyer Preble had carried out this operation.
“Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” said Commander Clay Doss, spokesman for the Seventh Fleet.
As per Reuters, the chief of the US Navy on Wednesday said that its 'freedom of navigation' movements in the South China Sea had drawn more attention than deserved.
This operation took place as a counter to Beijing's efforts to reduce the freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, reported Reuters.
The US military has always maintained its stand about operations of this nature. According to the US military, these operations are carried all around the world without any relation to the political stands.
(With inputs from Reuters)