The move is designed to serve as a signal that the US does not recognize China’s territorial claims in the region. According to the newspaper, it may lead to a conflict escalation.
US President Barack Obama has repeatedly expressed his "concern" about China's activities in the South China Sea. US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken went further and compared China's territorial claims to Russia’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
Blinken stated in June that China’s attempts to expand its influence through the creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea are endangering peace and stability. Countries located in and around the South China Sea, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, also consider these attempts unlawful and have raised competing claims to the disputed territories.