The conflict between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is growing, following a U.S. military exercises in the South China Sea.

The South China Sea is a marginal sea in the Pacific Ocean, stretching from Singapore to the Taiwan Strait, the islands of Borneo, and the Philippine archipelago.

In between are hundreds of islands whose sovereignty was a historical cause of conflict by neighboring nations. It is not simple nationalism that triggers the conflicts, but rather the economic and strategic interest in the area.

On the one hand, everything would indicate that there are enormous gas and oil deposits in the area, and on the other hand, that it is part of one of the busiest maritime routes in the world.

The CCP claims that these waters, which are international for the time being, belong almost entirely to it. But its vision clashes with that of its neighboring countries and the United States, which carries out patrols in the area in order to defend the free movement of ships in that space, concerned about the growing advance by the CCP in the whole area, through the creation of new administrative districts and advanced military posts.

In mid-April, the movements of survey and security ships by the Chinese regime off the coast of Vietnam led the U.S. government to deploy two warships: the USS Bunker Hill, one and the USS Barry, along with an Australian naval vessel, as the Navy said in a statement.

While the whole world is focused on the CCP Virus, the CCP wasted no time in its geopolitical expansion. In mid-April, Beijing reported on its progress in the disputed Asia-Pacific seas. Commenting on the situation, Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Asia-Pacific Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu, told Fox News, China’s ultimate goal, or as Chinese President Xi Jinping calls, ‘the China Dream,’ is to ‘restore’ China’s place at the very top of the world’s hierarchy of nations (…) As the lifeline of Asia runs through the South China Sea, whoever controls the South China Sea will dominate Asia, and with the world’s center of gravity shifting to Asia, whoever dominates Asia will rule the world.” 

The accusations were not long in coming from the U.S. government either. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the CCP of taking advantage of the global situation surrounding the new CCP Virus to advance on the disputed waters. Beijing has moved to take advantage of the distraction, from China’s new unilateral announcement of administrative districts over disputed islands … its sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel earlier this month, and its ‘research stations’ on Fiery Cross Reef and Subi Reef,” Pompeo said in a video meeting with the foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on April 23, according to NBCNews.

On July 2, controversy was reignited when two U.S. aircraft carriers conducted exercises in the disputed South China Sea. The U.S. Navy announced its movements via Twitter and said its carriers, the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan, were conducting operations and exercises in the South China Sea.

A Pentagon statement added, “These are the latest military exercises in a long series of actions by the People’s Republic of China to assert illegal maritime claims and harm its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea. The actions of the PRC are in contrast to its promise not to militarize the South China Sea and the United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where all nations, large and small, are secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and can pursue economic growth in accordance with accepted international rules and standards.”