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US military vessels 'just steaming in international waters'

US Admiral John Richardson talks to reporters at the US Embassy in Tokyo on Oct. 15th.

TOKYO -- The U.S. Navy's highest ranking officer in uniform made clear on Thursday that any navigation by a U.S. naval vessel in the South China Sea is an expression of international rights, rebutting China's claim that such voyages are provocations.

     "They are just steaming in international waters," Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, during his maiden international trip. "I don't see how this can be interpreted as a provocation."

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