A statement issued by the US Army’s Pacific Region Command described the air strikes and military moves carried out by the Chinese army in the South China Sea region last week as part of what he called Beijing’s aggressive and destabilizing behavior.
However, the statement denied that these Chinese moves posed any threat to US forces in the region.
Reuters quoted a US official as saying that the Chinese aircraft had maintained a distance of 250 nautical miles from the US naval vessels.
The US Army Pacific Command stated that “the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt attack group closely monitored the activities of the Navy and Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army, and did not pose any threat at any time to the ships, aircraft and sailors of the US Navy.”
The South China Sea – through which trade in trillions of dollars passes every year – has long been a point of contention between Washington and Beijing.
China claims its entitlement in almost the entire area of the South China Sea, and has established military bases on artificial islands in the sea rich in energy resources, and asserts that about 95% of this sea is its own property and has historical rights in it, while its neighbors (Taiwan, Vietnam, And the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei), and are claiming what they consider their rights in those waters guaranteed by the international law of the sea.
In recent years, China has escalated its claim to sovereignty over the majority of the South China Sea, by building artificial islands equipped to receive warplanes, which angered other countries that are in conflict with them.