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The Wall Street Journal: U.S. to step up naval patrols in South China Sea disputed waters

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon for the first time has set a schedule of naval patrols in the South China Sea in an attempt to create a more consistent posture to counter China’s maritime claims there, injecting a new complication into increasingly uneasy relations between the two powers.

The U.S. Pacific Command has developed a plan to conduct so-called freedom-of-navigation operations two to three times over the next few months, according to several U.S. officials, reinforcing the U.S. challenge to Chinese claims of sovereignty over all South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters.

The plan marks a significant departure from such military operations in the region during the Obama administration, when officials sometimes struggled with when, how and where to conduct those patrols.

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