U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers and guided-missile cruisers. (U.S. Navy/Lt.j.g. Caleb Swigart)

The U.S. Navy sent two guided-missile destroyers to challenge China in the South China Sea, and Beijing is outraged.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — USS Spruance and USS Preble — conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation Monday, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts in the contested Spratly Islands.

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