USS Lassen Sent to China


The United States Navy has sent the USS Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea to confront China about its operations of building artificial islands in disputed international waters for military purposes. The provocative entrance taken by the USS Lassen was to challenge China’s questionable sovereignty claim of the artificial island chain and the mission was approved by President Barack Obama last month.
China has come under criticism from both the United States and the neighboring Asian nations, especially from Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, about China’s process of using rocks and reefs to build artificial islands. Satellite images even reveal what seems to be the construction of airstrips on the artificial island chain, which some analysts claim can be used for military purposes if needed.
Tensions began to escalate earlier in September and October with the aforementioned discovery and the discussion of navigation patrols proposed by the U.S. to dispute China’s claims. Keep following the news for more updates!
For more information, see this article posted by The NY Times.