mandag 6. juli 2020

Tensions heat up in South China Sea as US makes significant show of force

For the first time in six years, two US Navy aircraft carriers are in the South China Sea, the latest show of military might from Washington as it pushes back against China's sweeping claim to much of the contested region.

The two US carriers arrived in the region as China wrapped up its own set of naval exercises near a disputed island chain, an apparent synchronicity not lost on Beijing's state media, which carried reports boasting of the country's readiness to repel any US attempt to challenge its claims.
Operating under the name the Nimitz Carrier Strike Force, the American carriers, the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan, "conducted several tactical exercises designed to maximize air defense capabilities, and extend the reach of long-range precision maritime strikes from carrier-based aircraft," a US Navy statement said.

It is the first time two US carriers have operated together in the South China Sea since 2014 and only the second time since 2001, according to Lt. Cmdr. Sean Brophy, a spokesperson aboard the Reagan.