00:47 GMT +318 June 2019
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    A Standard Missile (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis combat system equipped Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) during a Missile Defense Agency ballistic missile flight test

    White House Confirms US Navy Patrols South China Sea

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    Asia & Pacific
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    The USS Decatur warship carried out a freedom of navigation patrol exercise in the South China Sea, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said in a press briefing on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier, President Barack Obama said the US will continue its presence in the East China and South China seas to the extent allowed by the international law allows.

    "I can confirm that last night the USS Decatur conducted a freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, specifically in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands," Earnest told reporters.

    China has territorial claims over Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves. These claims run counter to those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

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    Tags:
    Josh Earnest, Paracel Islands, South China Sea, United States
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