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China today accused the United States of having “ulterior motives” by sending two aircraft carriers to the South China Sea, where the Chinese Navy is also conducting naval exercises these days.
The United States has sent the aircraft carriers Ronald Reagan and Nimitz to the area to carry out exercises since last Saturday, one of the largest in the US Navy area in recent years, just when China is also conducting naval practices there.
It is unusual for both countries to conduct naval exercises at the same time in the same region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday (6.07.2020) that the situation in the South China Sea is “stable”, but accused the United States of trying to create problems among Asian neighbours.
“The United States has intentionally carried out a military deployment for large-scale exercises in the South China Sea to display muscle,” said Zhao, assuring that Washington has “ulterior motives” such as “creating division among nations in the region and militarize “that sea.
The US exercises come after China started its own, from last Wednesday to next Sunday, near the disputed Paracels Islands, a third of the way from Central Vietnam to the northern Philippines.
Rear Admiral George Wikoff, commander of the combat group led by the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan said in an interview with the US press that the purpose of the exercises was “to show a clear signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to stability and regional security. “
He added that they were also a response to Beijing’s growing military reassertion in the area.
The US Army indicated that the exercise would also involve B-52 bombers and that the two fighting groups “would not be intimidated by China.”
The Chinese official press today published several articles and editorials that claimed that Beijing is prepared to “face the challenge” and the “threats” of Washington.
The Global Times newspaper, belonging to the People’s Daily – the official organ of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) -, quoted several military experts as saying that Beijing has full control over the situation.
“The South China Sea is completely within the reach of the People’s Liberation Army, any movement of US aircraft carriers in the region is subject to the discretion” of the Chinese military, the newspaper wrote.
Official media also noted that China conducted ballistic missile and anti-ship missile exercises in the central region of the South China Sea last year in preparation for attacks by aircraft carriers from foreign countries.