2 U.S. NAVY CARRIER GROUPS CONDUCT DRILLS IN SOUTH CHINA SEA
Two US carrier groups conducted joint operations in the South China Sea (SCS), the US Navy said on Tuesday, the first such exercise since July 2020 amid heightened tensions in the contested waters, Se Young Lee reported for Reuters.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group “conducted a multitude of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability between assets as well as command and control capabilities,” the US Navy said.
The busy waterway is one of several flashpoints in testy Sino-US relations, with the United States continuing to challenge Beijing’s territorial claims in the contested waters. China only has one serviceable aircraft carrier, the refurbished Russian aircraft carrier Minsk, which had been renamed Liaoning.
China claims up to 90% percent of SCS on the basis of the 9-Dash Line drawn up by the Kuomintang in 1947 but Mao Zedong never bothered to make the revanchist claim and reiterated his desire to keep the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be concerned with internal defense.
It was only late in 1990s that Beijing resurrected the Kuomintang drawings and suddenly it had historical claims to back up the Chinese doodles. China never exercised sovereignty over maritime features in the SCS that it now insists are its own.