On 27 October American destroyer USS Lassen entered the waters within the 12-mile zone around Subi and Mischief reefs that are controlled by China and have been artificially turned into islands in order to support China’s maritime claims. It will possibly be followed by other passages of this kind in the future.
This American move aims at delegitimizing China’s attempt to gain control over the maritime space in the South China Sea. This sea is a critical waterway of global geopolitical importance, which causes both China’s attempt to establish its control there and American determination to prevent this from happening.
China is loudly protesting this maritime move by the United States, but a Chinese attempt to actually challenge it militarily would be extremely dangerous.