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US lawmakers demand challenge to Chinese claims in South China Sea

18 September 2015 08:38 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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US lawmakers Thursday called for the United States to be more robust in its reaction to Chinese construction on reefs and islands in the South China Sea, a week ahead of a visit to the White House by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain said during a hearing attended by senior navy officials that the South China Sea was not Chinese territory, and that there should be "freedom of navigation" in the area, The Washington Post reported.

"The best sign of respecting the freedom of the seas is not to de facto recognize the 12-mile limit and the best way to make sure that is not recognized is to sail your ships in international waters - which it clearly is," McCain was quoted as saying.

Waters up to 12 nautical miles from a nation's shore are generally regarded as being part of the state's territorial waters. (dpa)
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