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China and the US have seen rising tensions over trade, new laws on Hong Kong and the spread of the novel coronavirus. It comes after the US and China have both started ramping up military drills in the sea.
Beijing controlled media outlets have issued a series of warning to the US due to their increased presence in the South China Sea.
The Global Times said that the US’ deployment of two aircraft carriers in the area was “at their pleasure”.
The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan have been deployed to the region to conduct military exercises.
They also warned in a tweet: “China has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like DF-21D and DF-26 “aircraft carrier killer” missiles.”
The Global Times quoted analysts, who said that the US ships could be destroyed at any moments with Chinese missiles.
It wrote: “The South China Sea is fully within the grasp of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and any US aircraft carrier movement in the region is solely at the pleasure of the PLA, which has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like the DF-21D and DF-26 ‘aircraft carrier killer’ missiles.’
The US navy confirmed the two USS navy ships were deployed in the region.
Their presence followed China carrying out similar military drills, which have been criticised by the Pentagon and other neighbouring states.
In a statement, the US Navy said that the twin ships were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
They have not revealed the exact location of the exercises in the sea, which extends for around 900 miles.
Wall Street Journal quoted Rear Admirable George M. Wikoff as saying: “The purpose is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to regional security and stability.”
Wikoff, commander of the strike group led by the USS Ronald Reagan, said the exercises were not a response to those being conducted by China, which the Pentagon criticised this week as ‘counter-productive to efforts at easing tensions and maintaining stability’.
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China dismissed the US’ criticism of its drills on Friday and suggested the United States was to blame for increasing tensions.
China has claimed 90 percent of the ocean, despite protests from neighbouring countries.
Vietnam and the Philippines have also criticised the Chinese drills, warning they could create tension in the region and impact Beijing’s relationship with its neighbours.
China announced last week it had scheduled five days of drills starting July 1 near the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both Vietnam and China.
It is the latest flashpoint of tension between the US and China: Beijing passed a new security law on Hong Kong, leading to international condemnation.
Representative Chris Smith, Republican for New Jersey, said at a hearing on Hong Kong’s future in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday: “Obviously, more now has to be done that they have pulled the trigger, we need to meet this as never before.
“We didn’t do it after Tiananmen Square.”
“We acquiesced and they took note of that and said, ‘You know, give it a little time and people will just let it go.’ “
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