US Navy sends destroyer past disputed China islands

China reacted angrily on Tuesday after a US guided-missile destroyer sailed close to Beijing’s man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Beijing said it warned and followed the American vessel as it vowed to “firmly defend its territorial sovereignty”.

The USS Lassen passed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the land formations Beijing has built inside the Spratly islands chain, a significant US challenge to China in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.