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U.S Sends Aircraft Carriers into South China Sea

2 US aircraft carriers were found conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea region on July 4th. As reported by the US Navy, china also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US and multiple other states. The USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan were conducting exercises in the disputed region, “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific” as said by the Navy. The locations of the exercises haven’t been revealed. As said by Rear Admiral George M. Wikoff,”The purpose is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to regional security and stability”. Wikoff has also said that these exercises were not a response to the exercises being conducted by china which have been called by the Pentagon, “counter-productive to efforts at easing tensions and maintaining stability”. China has dismissed the allegations of the US against its drills and countered by alleging that the US is the one to blame for increasing tensions. The US has long carried out exercises in the Western Pacific region including the South China Sea. As of the US Navy, recently, the US had 3 aircraft carriers in the region. China had announced that it planned for 5 days of naval drills starting from July 1st near the Paracel islands, which are claimed by both China and Vietnam. Vietnam and the Philippines have criticized these drills and have warned that these drills could give rise to further tensions between the already deteriorating relations between China and its neighbors. The US accuses China of trying to intimidate its neighbors, who might want to exploit the economically strategic region for its oil and gas reserves. Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of the South China Sea through which about 3 trillion USD worth of trade passes through every year. Reporter : Jovan H

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