As per reports, Two U.S. carrier groups conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea on Tuesday, days after a U.S. warship sailed near Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed waters that have emerged as another point of contention in already strained Sino-U.S. relations.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group “conducted a multitude of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability between assets as well as command and control capabilities”, the U.S. Navy said, marking the first dual-carrier operations in the busy waterway since July 2020.
The exercise comes days after China condemned the sailing of the destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in what the United States calls freedom of navigation operation - the first such mission by the U.S. navy since Biden administration took charge.
The United States has contested China’s extensive territorial claims in the region, accusing it of militarizing the South China Sea and trying to intimidate neighbors such as Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, who have claims that overlap with China’s in the resource-rich area.
China's actions in the South China Sea have been described as part of its "salami-slicing" strategy, and since 2015 the United States and other states such as France and the United Kingdom have conducted freedom of navigation operations (FONOP) in the region. However, on multiple occasions, PLAN ( Chinese Navy ) has been found intimidating other countries upon entering the South China sea.