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U.S. carrier group patrols in South China Sea - U.S. navy

Feb 18 (Reuters) - A United States aircraft carrier strike group has begun patrols in the South China Sea, the U.S. navy said on Saturday, amid renewed tension over the disputed waterway.

China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the South China Sea.

The navy said the force, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, began routine operations in the South China Sea on Saturday. The announcement was posted on the Vinson's Facebook page.

(Reporting by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Mary Milliken)