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U.S. urges wider challenge to China's claims in South China Sea

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia and other countries should follow the U.S. lead and conduct "freedom-of-navigation" naval operations within 12 nautical miles of contested islands in the South China Sea, a senior U.S. naval officer was reported as saying on Monday.

White House says movement of U.S. ship near Yemen to ensure commerce

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday that the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier near Yemen is intended to ensure freedom of navigation and commerce in the area.

Xi: China committed to resolving South China Sea disputes peacefully

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday said China was committed to resolving any disputes in South China Sea in a peaceful manner and protecting the freedom of navigation and overflights, saying that construction in the sea did not target any country.

Indonesia rejects plan

Indonesia said yesterday it could not accept Australia's proposed new maritime security zone, saying it infringed on Indonesian waters and violated freedom of navigation.

U.S. Navy starts to accompany U.S. ships passing through Strait of Hormuz

WASHINGTON/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - U.S. Navy ships started accompanying U.S.-flagged commercial vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, seeking to ensure freedom of navigation two days after Iran seized a cargo ship, U.S. defence officials said.

U.S. officials to brief diplomats on maritime security initiative for Gulf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials will speak to members of the Washington diplomatic corps on Friday about a new initiative to promote freedom of navigation and maritime security around the Strait of Hormuz, the State Department said on Wednesday.