WASHINGTON — A US bomber unintentionally flew over what China claims to be its territorial waters in the South China Sea last week, prompting Beijing to file a protest, US Defense Department officials said Friday.
The B-52 bomber flew near an artificial island China is creating on Cuarteron Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands and China complained the airplane came within 2 nautical miles from the reef, one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.
“There was no intention of flying within 12 nautical miles of any feature,” Cmdr. Bill Urban, a Pentagon spokesman, said. PNA/Kyodo