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US destroyer backs up Biden's tough words in South China Sea

May 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.6%. 1 min read.

The USS Curtis Wilbur, a 8,950-ton Aegis destroyer of the U.S. Navy, arrives at a naval base in Busan, South Korea, Friday, June 4, 2010. The destroyer arrived in the port city to participate in South Korea-U.S. joint drills in the West Sea slated for this month. (AP Photo/ Yonhap. Jo Jong-ho) ** KOREA OUT **

A United States Navy warship sailed near disputed Beijing-controlled islands in the South China Sea on Thursday -- just hours after US President Joe Biden said the US must protect open access to the waterway.

Hong Kong (CNN)A United States Navy warship sailed near disputed Beijing-controlled islands in the South China Sea on Thursday -- just hours after US President Joe Biden said the US must protect open access to the waterway.

Beijing, which claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory, said the movement of the US warship violated its sovereignty.

But Biden, in a speech at the US Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, accused China -- and also Russia -- of "disruptive actions" challenging decades-old international rules protecting maritime commerce in the South China Sea and other waterways.

"Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations," Lingo's statement said.

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