East Africa News Post

Complete News World

A carrier strike group began operating in the South China Sea

(CNN) — A US aircraft carrier strike group began operating in the South China Sea on Thursday, the Navy announced, amid rising tensions with Beijing.

Two Chinese ships are already following the US group, a defense official told CNN, which includes an aircraft carrier, a guided-missile cruiser and three guided-missile destroyers.

The USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, which has lethal and non-lethal capabilities “from space to sea, on all axes and in all domains,” according to its commanding officer, entered the South China Sea for the first time as part of your current. Deployment.

The deployment comes as the US military has strengthened its presence in the region with the aim of deterring China, which is rapidly modernizing and expanding its own military and nuclear capabilities.

This week, the U.S. and Japan announced a strengthened U.S. naval presence in Okinawa, with enhanced intelligence and anti-ship capabilities. The two allies also announced a series of efforts aimed at bringing their militaries closer in the face of what they see as China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

“We share with Japan a common vision of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and everything we’re doing is moving in that direction,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a meeting with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday. Japanese counterparts in Washington.

Three weeks ago, a Chinese J-11 fighter jet intercepted a US RC-135 spy plane in the South China Sea in what the US called an “unsafe maneuver”. The RC-135 Rivet Joint, according to the US, was forced into an evasive maneuver when the Chinese aircraft came within 6 meters of the larger and slower spy plane.

See also  The weather forecast expects little rain and heat activity for Father's Day

The People’s Liberation Army confronted its own situation, saying that the US aircraft “suddenly changed its flying attitude” with a “dangerous approach maneuver” despite the fact that no Chinese military video showed anything of the sort. It is.

The meeting highlighted the inherent tensions in the South China Sea, where Beijing uses its own militarized artificial islands to pressure them to accept sovereignty that is not recognized by the United States or its allies.

China’s navy has been closely monitoring US warships operating in the South China Sea, saying at times they have escorted US ships out of disputed waters.

In November, China said it forced the USS Chancellorsville out of the South China Sea after it “illegally entered” its territorial waters without Beijing’s permission, proving “the US poses a real security risk”.

The US responded strongly, calling the Chinese version “false” and “just the latest in a long line of actions (by the PRC) to misrepresent the US’s legitimate maritime activities and enforce its excessive and illegal maritime claims at the expense of its Southeast Asian neighbors”. .

The Navy said the US guided-missile cruiser was operating in the South China Sea as part of freedom of navigation operations under international law.

“All nations, large and small, must be secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and able to pursue economic development in accordance with accepted international rules and regulations,” the United States declared at the time.

— Haley Britsky contributed to this report.