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It was no coincidence that, within days of US President Donald Trump pulling out of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, two heavily-armed American warships were reported making a highly contentious passage through the South China Sea. The vessels, the USS Higgins, a Burke-class destroyer, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam, provoked an angry response from Beijing after they passed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands.

The islands, in an archipelago in the South China Sea, comprise part of the network of islets, shoals and reefs that the Chinese have been busy colonising in recent years.

Read more at www.telegraph.co.uk

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