This Saturday, a US aircraft carrier group, led by USS Theodore Roosevelt, entered the South China sea.
As it was informed by the United States military, the aircraft carrier was sent there to promote “freedom of the seas”.
All of this happened because of China’s persistence to occupy the entire sea area, on which countries like Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim.
Response to Taiwan crisis
The United States Indo-Pacific Command released a statement saying that the aircraft carrier group entered the sea the same day Taiwan reported on China’s military aircraft incursion in the area of Taiwan’s military identification zone near Pratas Islands.
The US army explained that the warships they sent are on a routine mission to ensure “freedom of the seas, building partnerships and strengthening navigation safety”.
Other southeast Asian countries, such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei, which have territorial claims in the waterway, fully support the US presence, since the US would grant them protection from China’s occupation.
Rear-Admiral of the US Navy, Doug Verissimo expressed his excitement about being able to navigate the South China Sea again, after having a professional career that lasted for 30 years.
Verissimo emphasizes that keeping the US presence in the waterway and continuing promotion of order based on the rules which enable progress, is crucial, given the fact that two-thirds of world trade takes place in this very region.
China doesn’t like the US presence
China, on the other hand, opposes the US warships approaching islands which China has already occupied.
The United States condemns China’s actions, accusing the country of bullying and attempting to build a “maritime empire”.
The US Administration announced sanctions on Chinese state companies that were involved in building artificial islands.
China’s neighboring countries expressed their concern over the tensions between the US and China.
Understandable, they assume that those tensions and unresolved issues might lead to military confrontation, with the possibility of a trade route being severely disrupted.
In case this happens, the consequences for southeastern Asian countries’ economies would be devastating.
Some analysts forecast that the United States will continue to firm up a partnership with coastal states and that China will continue their military activities, disrupting all efforts of the US operating in waters it considers its own.