World US Navy says it's 'not intimidated' by China's missiles as Beijing bristles over US aircraft carriers in South China Sea
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- The US Navy has two carrier strike groups operating in the South China Sea, and China is not pleased.
- The Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the US of destabilizing the contested waterway, and Chinese media boasted about China's ability to target US aircraft carriers with anti-ship weapons.
- In a tweet Sunday, the US Navy said that it is "not intimidated," and a meme posted by the Navy on Instagram stressed that it has no plans to leave the South China Sea.
The US Navy tweeted Sunday that it is "not intimidated" by China's weapons after Chinese media boasted about Beijing's "carrier killer" missiles in response to the presence of two US Navy carrier strike groups in the South China Sea.
Pentagon: China military exercises will 'further destabilize' S. China Sea
The Pentagon said Thursday it was "concerned" about Chinese military exercises around a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, noting the maneuvers will "further destabilize" the region. "The Department of Defense is concerned about the People's Republic of China (PRC) decision to conduct military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on July 1-5," the Pentagon said in a statement.
The Nimitz and Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups are conducting dual carrier operations in the contested waterway, over most of which Beijing claims sovereignty. The last time the US had two aircraft carriers operating in the South China Sea was nearly six years ago.
Joint operations included "air defense exercises, tactical maneuvering drills, simulated long-range maritime strike scenarios, and coordinated air and surface exercises to maintain combat readiness and maritime superiority,".
US Navy to send two aircraft carriers and several warships to South China Sea
The US Navy will send two aircraft carriers and several accompanying warships to the South China Sea in the coming days to participate in a military exercise, according to two US Navy officials. © MC2 Kaila V. Peters/US Navy The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius conduct a photo exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V.
On July 4, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber from Louisiana linked up with the carriers for combined operations.
TheSunday that the "South China Sea is fully within the grasp of the Chinese People's Liberation Army," and "any US aircraft carrier movement in the region is solely at the pleasure of the PLA."
The incendiary paper pointed to Chinese anti-ship missiles, specifically the DF-21D and DF-26.
The US Navy responded on Twitter, writing that it is "not intimidated" by the Chinese arsenal and that the carriers are there "at our discretion."
—Navy Chief of Information (@chinfo)
The Navy has repeatedly stressed that it plans to continue to operate in the South China Sea despite opposition from Beijing, a point it drove home with a meme on Instagram Sunday.
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A post shared by US Navy (@usnavy) on Jul 5, 2020 at 8:17am PDTJul 5, 2020 at 8:17am PDT
Beijing sharply criticized the dual carrier operations Monday, with the Chinese Foreign Ministryto "undermine the peace and stability in the South China Sea."
The two US Navy carrier strike groups were operating in the waterway at the same time Chinese naval forces were conducting military drills near the Paracel Islands, disputed territories China seized from Vietnam.
China has since constructed military outposts in the area. As China attempts to cement its sovereignty, the US Navy has repeatedly challenged China's claims,. It did this most recently in late May.
Thenear the Paracels "counterproductive," characterizing the drills as "the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims."
The South China Sea has long been a hotbed of tension between the US and China, both of which have stepped up their military activities in the region in recent months.
Rear Adm. George M. Wikoff, commander of the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group,last Friday that increased Chinese assertiveness justified the dual carrier operations.
"The purpose," the commander said, "is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to regional security and stability."
Pompeo: U.S. to Take a Stand Against China in South China Sea .
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would no longer tolerate China’s attempts to establish a ‘maritime empire’ in the broadly consequential region.Pompeo's surprise statement came four years and a day after a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that sided against China in a case regarding territorial disputes also claimed by its other regional U.S. allies and partners, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. The United States at that time responded to the ruling by urging China to respect the decision of the court and maintained support for its partners but ultimately remained neutral on the competing claims.