Pentagon chief visits U.S. carrier in disputed South China Sea, blames Beijing for tension

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt transits the South China SeaBy Yeganeh Torbati ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, South China Sea (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter flew to a U.S. aircraft carrier transiting the disputed South China Sea on Thursday and blamed China for rising tension in the region on a visit sure to infuriate Beijing. Carter’s visit to the USS Theodore Roosevelt with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein came just over a week after the USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, challenged territorial limits around one of China’s man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago with a so-called freedom-of-navigation patrol.

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