US to press patrols in disputed sea, China warns ‘meddlers’

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An official says the U.S. Navy will continue patrolling the disputed South China Sea after a Chinese destroyer came dangerously close to one of its ships during a “freedom of navigation” sail-by near a contested reef.

Admiral John Richardson, who heads U.S. naval operations, said in a news conference with Philippine military officials in Manila on Monday that such patrols highlight the U.S. position against “illegitimate maritime claims.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a separate news conference that some “non-regional countries” are stirring up trouble in the disputed waters and “have been showing off their force.”

Wang said China and Southeast Asian nations should guard against foreign interference, in a reference to repeated Chinese allegations of U.S. meddling in an Asian territorial dispute.

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