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U.S. defense secretary visit South China Sea

U.S. defense secretary visit South China Sea

MANILA (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he will visit a U.S. aircraft carrier transiting the disputed South China Sea on Friday, a move bound to anger China, which has been increasingly asserting its territorial claims.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters, through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped every year.

Carter, speaking at the close of joint U.S.-Philippines "Balikatan" military exercises in Manila, said he would visit the USS John C. Stennis, after visiting another carrier in the region in November.

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