US Destroyer Armed with Missiles Enters South China Sea In Challenge to Beijing

A US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sailed next to a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing to stay clear of the region amid rising tensions between the two economic superpowers.

On Sunday, the USS Preble (DDG-88), armed with Tomahawk missiles, sailed along the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in order to “challenge” the Asian giant’s claim to the area. Washington has repeatedly refused to acquiesce to Chinese protests over its incursions into the sea, citing the principle of “freedom of navigation.”