Aug 11, 2017
In a direct challenge to the communist Chinese government the U.S. navy destroyer, USS John S. McCain sailed into what the Chinese claim is its exclusive trade route in the South China Sea. The route is also one that other Asian nations like Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines use. China has constructed an artificial island in the area, and claims that makes the route part of Chinese territory.
The United States has joined other nations in disputing this and so the McCain sailed along the route in what is called freedom of navigation operations. The McCain sailed within twelve nautical miles of the artificial island. The Chinese claim this is a violation of international law, but the United States disputes that and intends to continue such operations.