Navy says two ships deployed to South China Sea amid tensions

Navy says two ships deployed to South China Sea amid tensions
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Two Navy ships have been deployed to the South China Sea amid tensions between China and Malaysia, according to Reuters.

Last week the Haiyang Dizhi 8, a Chinese government research ship, was seen conducting a survey near an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia's state oil company Petronas. Months earlier the ship was seen making a similar patrol off Vietnam. 

The U.S. called on China to stop their "bullying behavior" in the South China Sea. China has denied allegations of a standoff. 

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The USS America amphibious assault ship and the USS Bunker Hill, a guided missile cruiser, are now deployed and operating in the South China Sea.

"Through our continued operational presence in the South China Sea, we are working ... to promote freedom of navigation and overflight, and the international principles that underpin security and prosperity for the Indo-Pacific," U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokeswoman Nicole Schwegman told Reuters. 

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.