Why US Navy should press on with its South China Sea missions

Late last month, the United States Navy conducted a freedom of navigation operation (Fonop) in the South China Sea. The USS Decatur, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed into the 12 nautical mile zone of Gaven and Johnson reefs.

This was the eighth publicised Fonop under the Trump administration. But this Fonop near the reefs - which are artificial islands occupied by China - triggered more than the usual attention because of a near collision between the USS Decatur and a Chinese destroyer.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2018, with the headline 'Why US Navy should press on with its South China Sea missions'. Print Edition | Subscribe