US Navy says carrier group operating in South China Sea

Taipei | Tue, June 15, 2021

The US Navy announced on Tuesday that a US aircraft carrier group commanded by the USS Ronald Reagan has entered the South China Sea on a normal operation, amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, which claims the majority of the disputed waterway.

China routinely criticizes US military deployments in the South China Sea, claiming that they do not contribute to peace or stability, and the declaration comes after China chastised the Group of Seven nations for issuing a statement chastising Beijing on a variety of concerns.

The strike group is conducting maritime security activities in the South China Sea, which include flying operations with fixed and rotary wing aircraft, maritime strike exercises, and coordinated tactical training involving surface and air units, according to the US Navy.

“The US Navy’s routine presence in the Indo-Pacific includes carrier operations in the South China Sea.” The guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh and the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey are accompanying the carrier, according to the statement.

In recent years, China has increased its military presence in the South China Sea, including the construction of artificial islands and air bases. The South China Sea has become one of several flashpoints in China’s tense relationship with the US, with Washington rejecting what it terms Beijing’s illegal territorial claims in the resource-rich waters.

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