U.S. plans third patrol near disputed South China Sea islands – source

The U.S. Navy plans to conduct another passage near disputed islands in the South ChinaSea in early April, a source familiar with the plan said on Friday, the third in series of challenges that have drawn sharps rebukes from China. The exact timing of the exercise and which ship would travel inside a 12-nautical mile limit around a disputed island was not immediately clear. The United States has conducted what it calls “freedom of navigation” exercises in recent months, sailing near disputed islands to underscore its right to navigate the…

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