“USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are operating two aircraft carriers in the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea,” said Lieutenant Joe Jeiley, spokesman for the Seventh Fleet. Operate two aircraft carrier attack groups in the Philippine and South Seas. The China Sea provides advanced training opportunities for our troops and provides significant operational flexibility to combatant commanders if the troops are called upon to respond to the regional situation.
“The presence of the two airlines does not respond to any political or world event. This sophisticated capability is one of the many ways the US Navy promotes security, stability and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific.”
“America agrees with our Southeast Asian friends: The PRC (People’s Republic of China) military exercises in the disputed waters of the South China Sea are very provocative. We oppose Beijing’s unlawful claims. Period,” State Secretary Mike Pompeo tweeted on Friday.
The Pentagon said in a statement Thursday that “China’s military exercises are the latest in a long series of PRC actions to confirm unlawful maritime claims and harm Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea.”
The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, and the US has long said Beijing has militarized islands in the South China Sea through the deployment of military hardware and the construction of military facilities.
Officials said US military exercises would not be carried out close to one of the contested islands in the region.
While the US Navy routinely operates in the area, the operations of two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers – USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan – represent a significant show of force and occur amid increasing tensions between Washington and Beijing in a number of areas. , including Hong Kong.
This story has been updated with additional information.