China and the USA in the South China Sea: Face off?








By Brad Lendon, CNN

Updated 0701 GMT (1501 HKT) July 6, 2020

Hong Kong (CNN)For the first time in six years, two US Navy aircraft carriers are in the South China Sea, the latest show of military might from Washington as it pushes back against China’s sweeping claim to much of the contested region.

The two US carriers arrived in the region as China wrapped up its own set of naval exercises near a disputed island chain, an apparent synchronicity not lost on Beijing’s state media, which carried reports boasting of the country’s readiness to repel any US attempt to challenge its claims.

Operating under the name the Nimitz Carrier Strike Force, the American carriers, the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan, “conducted several tactical exercises designed to maximize air defense capabilities, and extend the reach of long-range precision maritime strikes from carrier-based aircraft,” a US Navy statement said.

It is the first time two US carriers have operated together in the South China Sea since 2014 and only the second time since 2001, according to Lt. Cmdr. Sean Brophy, a spokesperson aboard the Reagan.

“These efforts support enduring US commitments to stand up for the right of all nations to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.” a US Navy statement said.

As the US force was putting on its display on America’s Independence Day holiday, China’s People Liberation Army Navy was wrapping up five days of drills around the Paracel Islands, known in China as the Xisha, a chain also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.



South China Sea fury as China threatens US with ‘aircraft carrier killer missiles’

CHINESE state media has issued a grave warning to two USS aircraft carriers in the South China Sea that they could be destroyed.

PUBLISHED: 00:36, Mon, Jul 6, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:47, Mon, Jul 6, 2020

China and the US have seen rising tensions over trade, new laws on Hong Kong and the spread of the novel coronavirus. It comes after the US and China have both started ramping up military drills in the sea.

Beijing-controlled media outlets have issued a series of warnings to the US due to their increased presence in the South China Sea.

The Global Times said that the US’ deployment of two aircraft carriers in the area was “at their pleasure”.

The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan have been deployed to the region to conduct military exercises.

China also warned in a tweet: “China has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like DF-21D and DF-26 “aircraft carrier killer” missiles.”

The Global Times quoted analysts, who said that the US ships could be destroyed at any moments with Chinese missiles.

It wrote: “The South China Sea is fully within the grasp of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and any US aircraft carrier movement in the region is solely at the pleasure of the PLA, which has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like the DF-21D and DF-26 ‘aircraft carrier killer’ missiles.’

The US navy confirmed the two USS navy ships were deployed in the region.

Their presence followed China carrying out similar military drills, which have been criticised by the Pentagon and other neighbouring states.



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