Another U.S. patrol in South China Sea unlikely this year – officials

Another U.S. patrol in South China Sea unlikely this year - officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy is unlikely to carry out another patrol within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-built islands in the South China Sea this year, three U.S. defence officials said on Monday.

The U.S. Pacific Command had hoped to carry out another "freedom of navigation" exercise in the region as early as December as part of the Navy's plan to regularly exercise its rights under international law, officials have said.

The U.S. Navy conducted a similar exercise in October to underscore the U.S. view that the crucial sea lane claimed by China should be treated as international water.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Tim Ahmann)

Source: “Reuters”