US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan that the American military would continue to operate in the South China Sea, a senior US defence official said.
"(Carter) once again reaffirmed that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. And he clearly made the case that the South China Sea would not be an exception," the official said after the two defence chiefs met in Kuala Lumpur.
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