PLA Navy is set to conduct one of the biggest naval drills in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) in July. So the US Navy send their two aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) together with the strike groups.
The Chinese military exercises are the latest PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and harmful for its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea. Although the US aircraft carrier operating near the Chinese ships, the drills continued without provocation.
The PRC’s actions stand in contrast to its pledge to not militarize the South China Sea and conflict from the United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. U.S. State secretary said the U.S. considers nearly all maritime claims outside China’s recognized waters to be illegitimate. It comes among the reports that Britain will send its new aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the region next year to join exercise with the U.S. and Japan.
According to the director of a South China Sea studies center at Nanjing University, the U.S. has made itself a judge or referee and will bring new instability and tension. The U.S. Department of Defense will also continue to monitor the situation with the expectation that the PRC will reduce its militarization and coercion of its neighbors in the South China Sea.
Last May, a standoff between Malaysian vessel and Chinese Research vessel and militia, the U.S. Navy warships provide support and turn away the Chinese boat. The USS Gabrielle Giffords from Singapore joins the USS America, USS Bunker Hill, and USS Barry from pacific in demonstrating the American naval presence in the South China Sea (West Ph Sea).
They were joined by Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta in a joint exercise. The K.D. Kelantan, a Royal Malaysian Navy warship, has also been patrolling the area.
Two U.S. aircraft carriers entered the South China Sea (West Ph Sea) from the Philippine Sea for joint operations in July. The aircraft carrier patrol is part of a combined effort by Washington to reassure allies and partners in the region and counter Beijing’s moves in the disputed waterway. The drills included four other warships and round-the-clock flights testing the striking ability of carrier-based aircraft.
The Pentagon said the Chinese exercises are a departure from the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in which China and other nations with overlapping claims agreed to curtail military exercises in the region. Pompeo’s statement does not alter U.S. neutrality on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea (West Ph Sea).
Washington still has no interest in wading into the historical morass of which country has sovereignty over each of the Spratly and Paracel Islands. But it does now explicitly take a position on the maritime disputes over water and seabed rights. The United States is more firmly endorsing the substance of a 2016 ruling by a tribunal convened under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). That tribunal had ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Manila’s case against Beijing. It found that China has no basis for asserting “historic rights” or make any other claims beyond those permitted by UNCLOS.