Two U.S. carrier groups conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea, days after another U.S. warship sailed near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed waters, as China denounced the US military for damaging peace and stability.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group “conducted a multitude of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability between assets as well as command and control capabilities, marking the first dual carrier operations in the busy waterway since July 2020.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the frequent moves by U.S. warships and aircraft into the South China Sea in a “show of force” was not conducive to regional peace and stability.
China will continue to take necessary measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security and work with countries in the region to firmly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The exercise comes days after China condemned the sailing of the destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in what the United States calls a freedom of navigation operation.
Last month, the U.S. military said Chinese military flights over the South China Sea fit a pattern of destabilizing behavior but posed no threat to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group in the region.
The United States has contested China’s extensive territorial claims in the region, accusing it of militarizing the South China Sea and trying to intimidate neighbors such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, who have claims that overlap with China’s in the resource-rich area.
China has been infuriated by repeated U.S. sailings near the islands it occupies and controls in the South China Sea. Beijing says it has irrefutable sovereignty and has accused the US regime of deliberately stoking tension.
Reuters / ABC Flash Point News 2021.