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Max Baucus

China says US destroyer sailing close to Chinese-built island damages peace, stability

China denounced what it called a "dangerous and provocative" act Tuesday after an American warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese-built artificial island at the center of a regional dispute over maritime territory and sea routes.

The incident reflects rising tensions between the United States and China over Beijing's aggressive program of land reclamation and construction on rocks and reefs in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, whose shores include Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The U.S. naval action was intended to uphold the principle of freedom of navigation in international waters, American officials said, and underscores that...