USS Ronald Reagan and USS Theodore Roosevelt are patrolling the western Pacific, while USS Nimitz is east, according to US Navy press releases. With each ship containing more than 60 aircraft, it represents the largest distribution of US aircraft carriers in the Pacific since 2017, when tensions peaked with Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
“Large ships and carrier strike groups are extraordinary symbols of the American naval power. I am really hot because we got three of them right now.” Rear Adm. Stephen Koehler, director of the Indo-Pacific Command operation, Hawaii, told the AP.
On Sunday, the Communist Party’s Global Times speech said carriers could threaten troops in the disputed South China Sea.
The report, published on the official English website of the People’s Liberation Army, also highlighted the weapons the Chinese army could use and added that Beijing could conduct exercises to demonstrate its firepower.
“China has aircraft carrier killer weapons such as DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles,” the story said.
China’s counter story
Deployments mean three of the US Navy’s seven active aircraft carriers are in the Pacific. The other four are at the port for maintenance.
“It is against the narrative that China wants to reveal that the USA is under stress in the Pacific,” Koh said.
“We have returned Theodore Roosevelt to the sea and as a means of national power, as the symbol of hope and inspiration,” said Roosevelt’s commander, Captain Carlos Sardiello. Said.
Reagan returned to the sea in late May after Crew members were deployed at their port in Japan, without deployment of the Covid-19 incident, after limited movements. Also, according to a U.S. Navy declaration, more than 1,000 tons of ammunition was loaded – “enough fighting force to cause the ship to stand five inches lower in the waterline”.
The move comes after saying that all the submarines of the US Pacific Fleet that were deployed last month were in maritime operations in the West Pacific. It was not scored, but experts said it probably contained more than eight of fast-attacking ships that were difficult to track.
Carl Schuster, former chief operating officer of the US Pacific Command Joint Intelligence Center, said it was no coincidence.
“The (navy) doesn’t know where these submarines are and makes it difficult to calculate and plan any intervention,” he said – especially when Beijing now had to take into account three aircraft carriers and accompanying destroyers and cruisers.
Deployments also came at a time when tensions on the South China Sea and Taiwan increased between Washington and Beijing.
Last week, the U.S. Navy C-40 freighter flew over Taiwan on its way to Thailand, as the Navy said it was a routine logistic flight, equivalent to the Boeing 737. US naval spokesperson Reann Mommsen told CNN that the US jet was directed to Taiwan, which he saw as part of China’s territory.
However, Beijing described the flight as “illegal action and serious provocation”.
Referring to Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, Xinhua’s story, “Overflight undermined China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and violated the basic norms governing international law and international relations.” Said.