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“A serious political and military provocation”, that’s the view of Beijing after a US warship sailed close to a disputed island in the South China sea. The USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, passed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands on Sunday. Along with China, the archipelago is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The US navy said the operation was conducted as part of a “freedom of navigation exercise”

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