South China Sea tensions continue to build up as the United States started mobilizing its troops in the region. The move has not registered well with China and now the country just declared that it will stand its ground in the region regardless. Will tensions go as high to spark a full out war?
The United States has started its routine operations in the South China Sea in light of Beijing’s threats to its allies and the entire disputed region. According to reports, US Navy’s John C Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG), the core of the Great Green fleet, started the operations. Its strike group includes Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). The said group was positioned in the eastern half of the sea for four days following transit via the Luzon Strait, according to Naval Technology.
This is not the only move that the United States has up its sleeves. The West is also in talks with Australia about hosting its long-range strike bombers. “It gives us the opportunity to strengthen the ties we already have with the Royal Australian Air Force and it gives us the opportunity to train our pilots and understand the theater,” News.com.au quoted Commander of the US Pacific Air Forces General Lori Robinson.
She confirmed that there have been ongoing talks to rotate tankers and bombers across northern Australia. The move as noted is also part of the rising concerns of Chinese military activities in the region. “We’ve watched the increased military capability on those islands, whether it’s the fighters, whether it’s the missiles or the 10,000-foot runways. We will continue to do as we’ve always done, and that is fly and sail in international airspace in accordance to international rules and norms,” added General Robinson.
She also urged other countries to explore or exercise their rights over international waters so as not to risk losing it throughout the region” in relation to China. As for China’s take on the matter, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has this to say: “China was the earliest to explore, name, develop and administer various South China Sea islands. Our ancestors worked diligently here for generations.”
“History will prove who is the visitor and who is the genuine host,” Reuters quoted the official.