U.S. Naval Carrier Strike Groups Return to South China Sea in Provocative Move
July 19, 2020 (EIRNS) —U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have resumed rare dual carrier exercises in the South China Sea, after a previous engagement there earlier this month, reported Reuters.
The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz carrier strike groups, comprising more than 12,000 U.S. military personnel among the aircraft carriers and their escorting cruisers and destroyers, with more than 120 aircraft deployed between them, were operating in the South China Sea as of July 17, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement July 17.
This is a provocative action.
Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, said, “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, [and] a rules based international order.”
The Nimitz and Reagan Carrier Strike Groups deployed earlier in the South China Sea over July 4-6 for exercises. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian strongly denounced them at the time for promoting “militarization of the South China Sea.”