- US Warship Sails Into Disputed S.China Sea Waters as Beijing Announces Regional War Games – Report
US Navy ships have repeatedly carried out so-called freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea, where the majority of islands are controlled by Beijing. Other territories are claimed by countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and the Philippines.
The US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan has sailed through the disputed South China Sea, a few days after Pentagon chief Mark Esper accused Beijing of destabilising the Indo-Pacific.
The AP news agency quoted Rear Admiral Karl Thomas, the USS Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer, as saying on Tuesday that the American military presence in the South China Sea “helps provide the security and stability that foster diplomatic talks.”
The developments followed US Defence Secretary Mark Esper warning on Sunday that “no one nation can or should dominate the Indo-Pacific” region, adding that Washington “stands firmly against a disturbing pattern of aggressive […] and destabilizing behaviour from China”.
Beijing has reportedly announced that its military would hold military exercises near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Beijing Warns Against US Legislation on South China Sea
Earlier this year, the US Senate reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act that, if passed, would require the US government to seize US-based financial assets and revoke or deny visas to Chinese companies and individuals involved in the assertion of Beijing’s legal claims to the South and East China Seas.