18 Jul, 2020
US deploys aircraft carriers to South China Sea for 2nd time in 2 weeks
The US has deployed two aircraft carriers to the South China Sea for the second time in two weeks as Beijing and Washington accuse each other of stoking tensions in the region. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan carried out operations and military exercises in the waterway between July 4 and 6, and returned to the region on Friday, the US Navy said in a statement.
“Nimitz and Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are operating in the South China Sea, wherever international law allows, to reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules based international order, and to our allies and partners in the region,” said Rear Admiral Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz. The presence of the carriers was not in response to political or world events, the statement said.
Brunei#Malaysia, the #Philippines#Taiwan, and #Vietnam challenge China’s claim to about 90 percent of the sea.
#Beijing held military drills in the sea earlier this month, drawing strong condemnation from both #Vietnam and #Philippines, media reported.
China’s Foreign Ministry said earlier that the US had deliberately sent its ships to the South China Sea to flex its muscles and accused it of trying to drive a wedge between countries in the region.