In Photos: US Navy conducts show of power in the Indo-Pacific, another message to China
|US Navy aircraft carriers back in South China Sea|
|US Navy destroyer sails near the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands|
|HMS Queen Elizabeth ship pivots to East Asia to confront China|
|Aircraft of the 5th Air Force and the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan displayed strength in the Philippine Sea on September 29. (Photo: US Navy)|
On Sunday, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus accused China of pursuing "a reckless and provocative militarization” of disputed outposts in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, adding that China’s ruling Communist Party “does not honor its words or commitments.”
China’s man-made islands atop atolls in the South China Sea, and its claims of a wide swath of the sea as its own, have been a source of friction for years. In response, the U.S. has carried out a series of freedom on navigation operations near those islands, Navy Times cited.
|Aircraft attached to Carrier Air Wing 5, embarked with the carrier Ronald Reagan, conduct a show of U.S. airpower over the Philippine Sea Tuesday. (Photo: Navy Times)|
|Two F / A-18E Super Hornet fighters in a power show in the Philippine Sea on September 29. (Photo: Navy Times)|
|An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the Eagles of Strike Fighter Squadron 115 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration over the Philippine Sea Tuesday. (Photo: Navy Times)|
China has yet to permanently deploy forces to its forward-located bases in the South China Sea. “But given the breathless advances in Chinese militarization of the SCS over the last nine years, doing so seems inevitable and raises concerns amongst senior US military leaders,” the Rand report stated.
Wang said China is entitled to proceed as it sees fit on the South China Sea islands, especially when it comes to exercising its right to self-defense. Infrastructure on the islands also benefits the world, he said.
|Aircraft of the 5th Air Group and the cruiser USS Antietam were deployed in the Philippine Sea on 29 September. (Photo: Navy Times)|
|Despite a recent fire on board, the guided-missile cruiser Antietam steams ahead during Tuesday's air power demonstration, taking part in a 5-inch gun shoot. (Photo: Navy Times)|
“The international community and regional countries must be highly vigilant and resolutely oppose the sinister plot of some U.S. warmongers to sow chaos in the South China Sea and East Asia,” Wang said.
Previously, from June 4 to June 6, the USS Ronald Reagan carrier group. the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier battle group and the Nimitz aircraft carrier combat forces conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea. This is the first joint exercise of two US aircraft carriers in the South China Sea since 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal.
On June 6, the Nimitz aircraft carrier battle force had an array in the South China Sea, a day after the Chinese army ended its illegal exercise around the Paracel Islands under Vietnamese sovereignty in the South China Sea.
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