U.S. patrol sought to avoid provocation, not reinforce China island claim: officials | Reuters

The following Reuter's article sheds some welcome light on the complexity of the South China Seas legal regime and the US Navy's freedom of navigation operations there. This is needed as there is a willingness to throw terms like "innocent passage" around with making clear what it implies.  This article clarifies that issue by pointing out the US Navy's efforts to make these operations less confrontational may have actually reinforced the doubtful Chinese territorial claims.