US bomber flies over SCS; China lodges strong protest

A B-2 bomber of the US military flew over a South China Sea area which China claims its own, resulting in strong protest from Beijing.

PTI| Updated: Dec 19, 2015, 10:36 AM IST

Washington: A B-2 bomber of the US military flew over a South China Sea area which China claims its own, resulting in strong protest from Beijing.

The Pentagon said the B-2 bomber flying within two nautical miles of the artificial island build by the Chinese in South China Sea was unintentional and has ordered an investigation into it.

The incident is reported to have happened last week when the Pentagon said two B-2 bombers were on a routine mission in the region.

"For this mission, there was no intention of flying to within 12 nautical miles," Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban said.

"The Chinese have raised concerns with us about the flight path of a recent mission. We are looking into the matter," Urban said.

China insists it has sovereignty over virtually all of the resource-rich South China Sea, conflicting with the various claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei.

The US is critical of China building artificial islands in the disputed sea, and has flown B-52 bombers and sailed a guided-missile destroyer near some of the constructions in recent months.