3 US Navy aircraft carriers patrol the Pacific. And China is not happy

3 US Navy aircraft carriers patrol the Pacific. And China is not happy

The USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Theodore Roosevelt are both patrolling the western Pacific, while the USS Nimitz is to the east, according to US Navy press releases. With each ship containing more than 60 aircraft, it represents the largest development of American aircraft carriers in the Pacific since 2017 – when tensions with North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program were at their peak.

“Airlines and strike crews that are large are seemingly symbols of the US Navy. I’m really upset that we have three of them right now,” said Stephen Koehler, CEO of Indo-Pacific Hawaii. in the AP.

On Sunday, the mouthpiece of the Global Times of the Communist Party said airlines could threaten troops in the disputed South China Sea.

“By collecting these aircraft carriers, the United States is trying to prove to the whole region and even to the world that it remains the most powerful naval force, as they could enter the South China Sea and threaten Chinese troops on the islands of Xisha and Nansha (Paracel). ) and the Spratly Islands) as well as boats passing by nearby waters so that the United States could pursue its hegemonic policy. ” Global Times report said Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert.

The report – published on the official English website of the People’s Liberation Army – also highlighted the weapons available to the Chinese military, adding that Beijing could conduct exercises in response to demonstrate its strength.

“China has killer aircraft carriers such as the DF-21D and DF-26 ballistic missiles,” the statement said.

The comparison of China

The development means that three of the seven active US Navy aircraft carriers are in the Pacific. The other four are in port for maintenance.

Collin Koh, a researcher at the Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore, said China reacted strongly because the presence of air carriers came into conflict with the depiction of the US Navy’s Beijing as a force to be reckoned with.

“It’s against the narrative that China wanted to say that the United States was under pressure from the Pacific,” Koh said.

Indeed, Roosevelt returned to the sea on June 4 after spending weeks in the port of Guam after a corona eruption in March, when more than 1,000 crew members of about 4,900 members of the ship showed up.

“We have returned Theodore Roosevelt to the sea as a symbol of hope and inspiration, and an instrument of national strength because we are TR,” said Roosevelt’s commander, Captain Carlos Sardiello.

Reagan returned to the sea in late May after crew members came under limited scrutiny at a Japanese port to ensure he went to sea without a Covid-19 case. It has also been loaded with more than 1,000 tonnes of equipment – “enough combat power to make the ship sit five inches lower on the floating line,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

US-China tensions

The missions come amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

Last week, a U.S. Navy C-40 aircraft, the Boeing 737, flew over Taiwan on its way to Thailand with what the Navy said was a logistics flight routine. The U.S. airliner was flown over Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, by Taiwanese air traffic controllers, U.S. Navy spokesman Reann Mommsen told CNN.

However, Beijing described the flight as “illegal and a serious challenge”, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

“The oversupply undermined China’s sovereignty, security and development interests and violated international law and the basic rules that govern international relations,” said Xinhua, citing State Department spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian. Council.

On June 4, the U.S. Navy sent a missile destroyer through the Straits of Taiwan, which separates the island from mainland China. And in the South China Sea, the 1.3 million-square-mile water that Beijing claims to be its dominant territory, U.S. warships have carried out many free navigation operations this year. B-1 bombers and surveillance planes were also active.

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