A US aircraft carrier sailed through the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, in what US Military officials have called a “show of strength,” amid increased tensions between China and other countries in the region.
The US Military announced that it sailed an aircraft carrier through the disputed waters of the South China Sea today on its way to the Philippines for a port visit. The USS Ronald Reagan was transporting around 70 supersonic F/A-18 jets, spy planes and helicopters. Also on board were a group of generals and officials from the Philippines, and a group of journalists.
They traveled through the South China Sea which is a waterway that has been the subject of disputes over territory for decades. While China claims to own more than 80 percent of the South China Sea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei, have also claimed to own portions of territory
One of the most important things to remember is that the South China Sea is believed to contain massive reserves of natural resources, such as oil and gas.
There have been smaller disputes between China and Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines breaking out in recent months, but tensions initially rose to new heights last year, when China transformed seven disputed reefs into islands and then installed a missile-defense system.
The US claims its goal is simply to protect its allies in the region, butChina and the US have both accused one another of acting provocatively and interfering in territory they do not control.
This is not the first time the US has used its military to display a “show of force” in the disputed region, and a Navy Admiral argued that the United States was complying with international law.
He claimed the presence of the US military is not for the purpose of choosing sides in the conflict, but to provide “stability and security” while talks are carried out between the opposing countries.
Now, in addition to openly criticizing China’s actions in the region, the US is also in the midst of an ongoing Trade War with China. And as one of the world’s busiest waterways, the South China Sea is a vital tool because an estimated $3.3 trillion dollars’ worth of global trade passes through it every year.