Revealed: America’s ‘Soft’ Operation in the South China Sea

National Interest – The United States has conducted another freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea. On January 30, the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within twelve nautical miles of Triton Island, a naturally formed feature, in the Paracel islands in the South China Sea. That group is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam but is occupied by China. The purpose of the latest FONOP was much clearer than that of America’s previous FONOP in the region.