Sunday, February 19, 2017

US aircraft carrier group deployed for ‘routine patrols’ in S. China Sea

Ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing not to aggravate tensions in Southeast Asia, the US Navy has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group for “routine” maritime patrols in the vicinity of the disputed South China Sea waters.


The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, together with aircraft from the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer started “routine operations in the South China,” the US Navy announced.

The deployment of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 began Saturday, just days after China issued a stern warning to stay away from the area.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday. “China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Despite the warning, US patrols got underway in the disputed waters, right after an American flotilla held drills off the islands of Hawaii and Guam to “maintain and improve their readiness and develop cohesion as a strike group.”

“The training completed over the past few weeks has really brought the team together and improved our effectiveness and readiness as a strike group,” said Rear Adm. James Kilby, commander of CSG 1. “We are looking forward to demonstrating those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
 [rt.com]
19/2/17

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