A Navy jet over the South China Sea. China says the flights violate its territorial sovereignty. Credit U.S.Navy

New York Times: U.S. Flies Over a Chinese Project at Sea, and Beijing Objects

WASHINGTON — The United States and China on Friday escalated their dispute over contested territory in the South China Sea, after the Chinese repeatedly ordered an American military surveillance plane to abandon flights over areas where China has been building artificial islands.

The continued American surveillance flights in areas where China is creating new islands in the South China Sea are intended to challenge the Chinese government’s claims of expanded territorial sovereignty. Further raising the challenge, Pentagon officials said they were discussing sending warships into waters that the United States asserts are international and open to passage, but that China says are within its zone of control.

The Defense Department planning comes in response to China’s accelerated efforts to build new islands in the South China Sea to bolster claims to a vastly expanded area of sovereignty, a direct challenge to the United States and other nations in the region.

More News On The U.S. Challenging Chinese Claims In The South China Sea

U.S. threatens peace in South China Sea, Beijing says -- CNN
Beijing heaps scorn on US over surveillance in South China Sea -- IBTimes
China Rebukes US For 'Risky' Naval Standoff -- SKY News
China's Actions Mean Larger Role for One of Navy's Newest Planes --
The South China Sea Showdown: A Tragedy in the Making? -- Nicholas Khoo, National Interest
The scramble for the South China Sea -- Al Jazeera

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