(Tokyo) Two US aircraft carriers conducted exercises in the South China Sea, a spokesman for the US Navy said on Saturday after Washington worried this week about Chinese military maneuvers around an archipelago of which Beijing, Vietnam and Taiwan dispute the sovereignty.
France Media Agency
L 'USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan carried out joint maneuvers in this area to defend the principle of a “free and open” indo-Pacific area, the spokesman said.
“These efforts are in accordance with the commitments made by the United States to defend the right of any nation to fly, navigate and maneuver wherever international law allows,” he added.
These maneuvers come after the Pentagon said it was “concerned” Thursday by Chinese military exercises conducted around the Paracel archipelago, controlled by Beijing in the South China Sea, but also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan . The United States has estimated that these Chinese maneuvers will “further destabilize” this sensitive maritime area.
The Paracels have been controlled by Beijing since a brief naval conflict against the South Vietnamese navy in 1974.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry replied on Friday that the maneuvers suffered “no reproach”, taking place around an archipelago which “falls under the sovereignty of China”.
In order to stand up to Beijing, Washington regularly conducts operations called “freedom of navigation” with warships in the South China Sea.