US flies B-52 bombers close to contested islands within the South China Sea

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“Two US Air Pressure B-52H Stratofortress bombers departed Andersen Air Pressure Base, Guam, and took part in a routine coaching mission” in “the neighborhood of the South China Sea,” US Pacific Air Forces stated in a press release.

“This latest mission is in step with worldwide legislation and United States’ long-standing dedication to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the assertion added.

Whereas the US routinely flies bombers within the neighborhood of the South China Sea as a part of its lengthy standing “Steady Bomber Presence” missions, Beijing is especially delicate in regards to the presence of US navy forces close to areas the place the Chinese language authorities has constructed islands and established navy services on disputed maritime options.

In September, a Chinese language warship got here inside 45 yards of the destroyer USS Decatur, forcing the US vessel to maneuver to keep away from a collision, and the US Navy labeled China’s actions “unsafe and unprofessional.”

That incident happened whereas the Decatur was conducting a “Freedom of Navigation Operation,” which concerned crusing inside 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs within the Spratly Islands.

The US has accused China of deploying anti-ship missiles, digital jammers, and surface-to-air missiles to contested islands within the South China Sea.

China’s emplacement of these missiles provides Beijing “the potential to exert nationwide management over worldwide waters and airspace via which over three trillion {dollars} in items journey yearly,” US Navy Adm. Phil Davidson, the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, stated Saturday on the Halifax Worldwide Safety Discussion board in Nova Scotia.

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“The (Individuals’s Republic of China) says they’re militarizing these options with the intention to defend Chinese language sovereignty, however in doing in order that they’re now violating the sovereignty of each different nation’s skill to fly, sail, and function in accordance with worldwide legislation — the fitting of all nations to commerce, to speak, to ship their monetary info, to ship their communications via cables beneath the ocean,” Davidson added.

However regardless of tensions between Beijing and Washington, Chinese language authorities have lately granted a US Navy plane provider, the united statesRonald Reagan, permission to make a port name in Hong Kong, two US protection officers instructed CNN.

China had cancelled a Hong Kong port go to by the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in September.



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