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South China Sea

US to strengthen electronic-warfare abilities in South China Sea

Washington seeks power to disrupt Chinese communications in case of conflict

A crew member on the destroyer USS Ralph Johnson scans the horizon on July 14 near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- The U.S. military plans to deploy an electronic-warfare unit to the South China Sea, the latest move by the Trump administration to pressure China after calling Beijing's maritime claims there "completely unlawful."

Two special units will be deployed to the Indo-Pacific region as early as 2021, to operate over various domains from electronic and cyber warfare to precision missile targeting. At least one of them will be stationed around the South China Sea.

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