Thu, 19 May 2022

Washington [US], January 24 (ANI): US aircraft carriers on Sunday entered the South China Sea "to begin operations" amid heightened tensions arising between China and Taiwan.

The US Navy Carrier Strike Groups Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln will engage in operations aimed at strengthening maritime integrated-at-sea operations and combat readiness, according to a statement from the US Navy.

"Our ability to rapidly aggregate and work collectively alongside CSG 3, highlights the U.S. Navy's ability to deliver overwhelming maritime force, when called upon, to support a free and open Indo-Pacific region," Rear Admiral Dan Martin, commander of the strike group led by USS Carl Vinson, said in a statement.

The operations include enhanced maritime communication operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, replenishments-at-sea, and maritime interdiction operations, the statement read.

The announcement from the US Navy came the same day that Taiwan reported warding off 39 Chinese aircraft flying in its defence zone -- including 34 fighters, four electronic warfare craft and one bomber. This was the largest incursion of China's air forces in that zone in October.

Further, US warships frequently transit areas of the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait drawing anger from Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, according to Hill.

The Navy's statement noted that since early September, units of the carrier strike group led by the Carl Vinson have conducted multiple operations alongside Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Forces.

More recently, the two forces participated in an annual naval exercise alongside the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and German Navy in the Philippine Sea, according to the Hill. (ANI)

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