China has warned the new U.S. administration not to interfere in the sensitive area of the South China Sea, where President Joe Biden has ordered the first naval action since taking over the title of commander-in-chief a few weeks ago.
The U.S. Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group joined the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group on Tuesday for rare dual-aircraft carrier exercises in which huge warships of the Nimitz-class took place alongside accompanying ships and aircraft.
This was the first time that two aircraft carriers had been training together in the South China Sea since July, and the two groups involved had joined forces since June to conduct joint operations in the Philippines.
Naval commanders praised the practice.
Rear Admiral Doug Verissimo, a USS Theodore RooseveltAccording to Carrier Strike Group Nine, the maneuvers “ensure that we are tactically proficient in the challenge of maintaining peace, and we can continue to show our partners and allies in the region that we are committed to free and open-Peaceful.”
Companion a USS Nimitz, Lt. Gen. Jim Kirk said the exercises contributed to “regional stability and security” and demonstrated the U.S. Navy’s “commitment to ensuring the lawful use of the sea by all nations under international law.”
But in Beijing, the show was seen as a sharp challenge for a new president seeking to disrupt peace and commit to the People’s Republic.
“The United States has often sent ships and planes to the South China Sea to flex its muscles,” Wang Wenbin, a Chinese State Department spokesman, told reporters. “This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region.”
He warned the United States that the People’s Liberation Army was able to respond to any threat.
“China will continue to take the necessary measures to firmly protect national sovereignty and security, and work with regional countries to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Wang said.
The exchange took place less than a week after the U.S. Navy sent an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John McCain through the disputed Strait of Taiwan with an outrageous move by China to send PLA forces to intercept the warship as it later sailed near the disputed Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claimed.
Tian Junli, a senior colonel in the Air Force, a spokesman for the PLA Southern Theater Command, blew up the move at the time.
“The US move reiterates the old trick of manipulating the cross-Strait situation in a mixed way, severely violating China’s sovereignty and security, severely undermining regional peace and stability, and deliberately disrupting a good atmosphere of peace, friendship and cooperation. In the South China Sea, “Tian said in a statement issued by the Chinese Ministry of Defense on Friday.
He then declared China’s “undisputed sovereignty” over the disputed islands.
“China has unquestionable sovereignty over the islands of the South China Sea and adjacent waters,” he said. “And the PLA Southern Theater Command teams will always remain in a high degree of readiness, resolutely performing their duties and missions to protect China’s sovereignty, and safeguard security and peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
PLA jets have continuously entered Taiwan’s self-designated air defense identification zone. This border, along with other Taiwanese sovereignty claims, is not recognized by China, which is seeking to reunite the two, forcibly if necessary.
Even though rhetorical tensions are high in the region, a Navy spokesman said the situation around the South China Sea and the larger region has remained roughly the same since Biden took office.
“The United States has a permanent military presence and operates regularly throughout the Indian-Pacific region, including the waters and airspace surrounding the East China Sea and the South China Sea, as we have for more than a century,” he said. naval spokesman. Newsweek. “The vast majority of U.S. military interactions with the PLA are safe and meet international standards not only in the South China Sea but throughout the region.”
The spokesman cautioned against efforts to mislead the U.S. mission.
“Failure and counterproductive attempts to misinterpret or sensationalize the way we operate,” the spokesman said. “The United States will continue to fly, fly, and operate where international law allows in accordance with international standards and our agreements.”
While the new administration has publicly rejected much of its predecessor’s foreign policy, Biden and his officials have supported former President Donald Trump’s strong action against China, including in the high-traffic and resource-rich South China Sea, and in strengthening support. For Taiwan.
“I think he was fairly right for President Trump to be tougher on China,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with CNN on Monday. “It was the right thing to do. In my opinion, the whole way was wrong, but the principle was the right one.”
He said there would be areas of agreement and disagreement between the two top powers, but it was ultimately Washington that sought to maintain priority in the relationship.
“We need to involve China from a strong position,” Blinken said. “And whether we have adversarial aspects of the relationship, competing or cooperative aspects in our mutual interest, we have to deal from a strong position.”
Blinken spoke Friday with Yang Jiechi, director of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Foreign Affairs Committee, but since taking office on January 20, Biden has not spoken to his colleague, Xi Jinpin.
In a Friday interview with CBS News, Biden discussed his story with Xi, whom he met under Vice President Barack Obama as vice president. Biden said the two of them would “have to talk about a lot of things” when they managed to organize the first conversation.
“It’s very bright, very hard,” Biden said. “There’s no – and I don’t mean to say it’s a critique, just a reality – there’s no democratic, small‘ d ’bone in his body,” Biden said. “The point is, I’ve told him all along that we don’t have to make a conflict, but it’s going to be an extraordinary competition.”
Responding to these remarks, Wang said at Monday’s press conference that “China is committed to developing relations with the United States in which there is no confrontation, no conflict, no mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation.”
But he added the qualification, emphasizing “national sovereignty.”
“At the same time, we will firmly defend national sovereignty, security and development interests,” Wang said. “The two sides must work in the same direction, focus on cooperation and address differences to promote the solid and continuous development of bilateral relations and better serve the people of both countries and beyond.”