MND keeping close eye on situation in South China Sea

10/27/2015 09:13 PM
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Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday it is keeping tabs on developments in the disputed South China Sea after it was reported that a United States warship had been patrolling within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built in the area by China.

Maj. Gen. Chung Shu-ming(鍾樹明), director of the ministry's Joint Operation Division, said the patrol of U.S. military vessels in the South China Sea is routine.

The MND, however, is keeping track of air and sea activities in the South China Sea, and has an aerial and marine contingency plan in place in the event of any unexpected developments in the area, he said.

Foreign wire serves reported earlier in the day that the U.S. Navy had sent a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Lassen, to patrol within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China on Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands.

The U.S. vessel has since left the disputed area, according to reports.

(By Tai Ya-chen and Lilian Wu)

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