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US Navy ships sail into the middle of a South China Sea dispute – Business Insider

The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery and the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Cesar Chavez conducted “presence operations” near the West Capella, showing apparent support for the Malaysia-contracted drillship that has been hassled by Chinese ships in recent months.

Adm. John Aquilino, commander of US Pacific Fleet, said in a statement Thursday that the US is “committed to a rules-based order in the South China Sea and we will continue to champion freedom of the seas and the rule of law.”

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