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A Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of manmade islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday, prompting rebukes from China and praise from Capitol Hill.

China acknowledged that the U.S. destroyer Lassen sailed by the Spratly Islands, a contested group of islands of which China has claimed ownership. Lu Kang, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the Chinese "monitored, followed and warned" the U.S. ship.

"Relevant actions by the U.S. naval vessel threatened China's sovereignty and security interests, put the personnel and facilities on the islands and reefs at risk and endangered regional peace and stability," Kang said in a statement. "The Chinese side hereby expresses strong dissatisfaction and opposition."

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