Well-known U.S. Navy commanders who are part of the attack ships located in the disputed South China Sea assure that their operations are aligned with the idea of freedom in the area.
Jim Kirk, a rear admiral and commander of a warship battle group led by the USS Nimitz, said current dual-carrier operations over East Asian waters give military commanders “unparalleled operational flexibility should the need arise,” the Washington Times reported.
“Our training exercises enhance our ability to provide regional air defense, and expand our reach of operations to respond to those who challenge regional stability,” Kirk said, referring to the Chinese maneuvers.
As Times indicated, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) so far claims 90 percent of the South China Sea as part of its sovereign maritime territory, a claim that has been rejected by the countries of the region as well as their main Western ally, the United States.
The increase in warships, Navy cruisers, destroyers, fighter planes, and other aircraft that has taken place in recent months is due to the growing tensions between the United States and the CCP.
The main reasons for the advance of American ships in the sea would be the deliberate and unclear response that the CCP has had to the threat of the CCP Virus (coronavirus), as well as the repressive measures taken on the former British colony of Hong Kong to limit its autonomy, or the latent threat it represents to Taiwan and its vision of a democratic country independent of the political power of Beijing.
As indicated by the Financial Express, the U.S. national defense strategy cites the CCP as one of the main security concerns and the Pentagon has worked to move more resources and military assets to the region to combat what is understood to be the CCP’s growing economic influence and military power.
“The ability to be present in a strong way is part of the competition. And as I always tell my guys here, you’ve got to be present to win when you’re competing,” said Stephen Koehler, director of operations for the Indo-Pacific Command.
Rear Adm. George Wikoff, who is leading the attack group on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan, is also in the competition. Wikoff said more than 6,000 sailors aboard the two carriers are reinforcing security commitments to regional allies.
According to Wikoff, the operations “reinforce international norms that support the free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“While working together as one strike force, we have demonstrated how the U.S. Navy fields a responsive and flexible and unmatched maritime team, committed to mutual defense agreements with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific,” Wikoff added, according to The Washington Times.
Wikoff also noted that military operations in the South China Sea were conducted according to international standards for sailing on the open sea.
This week, 24-hour flight operations were included with aircraft from the aircraft carrier the Nimitz, as well as from the second operator, the USS Ronald Reagan. As the Washington Times noted, the combined attack groups include six guided missile warships.
The Global Times, a newspaper financed by the CCP, in response to the advance of American cruise ships in the region, this week published inflammatory statements pointing out that the ships were just a show for their allies.
“The two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups are nothing more than paper tigers on China’s doorsteps, as the region is fully within the grasp of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with specially made weapons that can destroy aircraft carrier, and U.S. drills are a mere show to make up for its loss of face regarding epidemic control,” the Global Times article said.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said earlier this week that the U.S. warship operations were seeking to “promote militarization” in the sea area.