Washington: The US Navy plans to conduct patrols within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the South China Sea about twice a quarter to remind China and other countries about US rights under international law, a US defence official said on Monday.
"We're going to come down to about twice a quarter or a little more than that," said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about Navy operational plans.
"That's the right amount to make it regular but not a constant poke in the eye. It meets the intent to regularly exercise our rights under international law and remind the Chinese and others about our view," the official said.
US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Monday said there would be more demonstrations of the US military's commitment to the right to freely navigate in the region.
"That's our interest there ... It's to demonstrate that we will uphold the principle of freedom of navigation," Rhodes told an event hosted by the Defense One media outlet.