China deployed two fighter jets and three warships Tuesday after a US navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea. Guided missile destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence, traveled within 12 nautical miles of the Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef to “challenge excessive maritime claims,” said US Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban.

“These excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention in that they purport to restrict the navigation rights that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise,” Urban said in an emailed statement to Reuters. READ MORE