Two U.S. carrier groups conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea on Tuesday, days after a U.S. warship sailed into disputed waters near China-controlled islands that are another focal point in strained Sino-US relations have turned out.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group “conducted a variety of exercises to improve asset interoperability and command and control capabilities,” said the U.S. Navy, marking the first two-carrier operations on the busy waterway since July 2020.
The exercise comes days after China condemned sailing the destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, near the China-controlled Paracel Islands in what the United States called Freedom of Navigation – the US Navy’s first such mission since President Joe Biden took office.
The United States has challenged China’s extensive territorial claims in the region, accusing it of militarizing the South China Sea, and attempting to intimidate neighbors such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, who have claims that overlap China’s in the resource-rich area .
“We are committed to ensuring the lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by all nations under international law,” Rear Admiral Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, said in a statement.
China has been enraged by repeated U.S. voyages near the islands it occupies and controls in the South China Sea. China says it has irrefutable sovereignty and accuses the United States of deliberately fueling tension.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)