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US naval ship visits Qingdao after disputed South China Sea ruling


08-10-2016 05:18 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

A US Navy guided missile destroyer has arrived in the northern Chinese port of Qingdao. This is in the first visit by an American warship to China, after China refused to accept an arbitration ruling on the South China Sea dispute. The USS Benfold docked at Qingdao, which is the home port of China's northern fleet.

Commander Justin L. Harts spoke briefly to the media and said the visit was aimed at building relationships with counterparts from the Chinese Navy, but referred questions on tensions in the South China Sea to the Pacific Command in Hawaii. Admiral Scott Swift, the top US naval officer in Asia, has also met with media on Tuesday.

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