US Navy ship nears 12-mile limit around Chinese islands

WASHINGTON - The USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, is nearing a 12-nautical-mile limit around artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea, and will be in the area for several hours, a US defense official said on Monday.
The Navy patrol marks the start of a series of challenges to China's territorial claims in one of the world's busiest sea lanes.
The vessel began the journey early on Tuesday local time near Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago, features that were formerly submerged at high tide before China began a massive dredging project to turn them into islands in 2014.