Skip to main content

US Carrier Group Headed to S. China Sea Waters Claimed by China

March 02, 2018 11:24 AM

Ralph Jennings

FILE - The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the Philippine Sea, April 23, 2017.



A U.S. aircraft carrier group is preparing to sail through the contested South China Sea later this month, and observers expect an angry Beijing to register its opposition and quicken its militarization of small islands in the region.

The group of ships led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and guided missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy is plying the South China Sea after a mid-February port call in Manila where some of the 5,500 crew members offered humanitarian aid, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

A U.S. Navy statement says the group came for, “promoting freedom of the seas and enhancing regional security,” as well as working with allies in the region.

That’s not the message likely to be received by Beijing, which regards about 90 percent of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer waterway as its own.

Those claims are disputed by five militarily weaker claimants: Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. The United States does not claim territory in the region, but regularly patrols the waters to ensure that they remain open for commercial traffic.

“I think it’s important to show to the world that the South China Sea is an international water, that it’s not a private lake of China, and only the United States can challenge China or provide balance of power in the South China Sea,” Philippine Congressman Gary Alejano said.

FILE - An airstrip and buildings on China's man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea are seen from a Philippine Air Force C-130, April 21, 2017.

Chinese build-up

China has built up three features in the sea’s Spratly Islands since 2013 to accommodate fighter planes and radar systems, one American think tank believes. It also controls the 130-feature Paracel Islands disputed by Vietnam.

The U.S. carrier group’s visit may lead China to accelerate development or deploy fighter planes, some analysts believe.

U.S. maneuvers, which are taking place roughly once every two months under President Donald Trump, would spark a tightening of China’s positions in the name of “defensive purposes,” said Collin Koh, a maritime security research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

China will take on the U.S. naval group indirectly, predicted Euan Graham, international security director with the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney.

“What they’re looking for is an excuse to ramp up the level of defense infrastructure on the features that it’s built up and occupied since 2013,” Graham said. “What they want I think is to derive the indirect benefit of characterizing the U.S. as provoking [them] into doing what they wanted to do all along.”

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has the option of basing fighter planes on the larger Spratly Islands, where all other claimant governments have nearby holdings, analysts say.

However, maintenance of aircraft would cost a lot in utilities, said Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

FILE - A ship (top) of the Chinese Coast Guard is seen near a vessel of the Vietnam Marine Guard, in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) off the shores of Vietnam, May 14, 2014.

Other claimants cheer carrier visit

The USS Carl Vinson group is due to dock at Vietnam’s port in Da Nang March 5-9 following an upbeat visit to Vietnam by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in January. The carrier will be the largest and most powerful U.S. military ship to reach a Vietnamese port, said Carl Thayer, emeritus professor with the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Vietnam is the most outspoken claimant against Chinese maritime expansion but has struggled for U.S. support because of their own war in the 1970s. Hanoi supports U.S. naval presence in the South China Sea to advance "regional peace and stability," Thayer said in a commentary February 22.

Southeast Asian countries as well as Taiwan have been pushing for more U.S. presence as China expands at sea, backed by the world’s third strongest armed forces after the United States and Russia.

But Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam are working with both China and the United States to keep the peace as well as economic relations with two vital trade partners. Their support for the USS Carl Vinson will be muted, but excited, analysts say.

“Reactions from other claimants would be in favor or that presence except China,” Huang said.

“I don’t think there’s a specific quarrel between Washington and Hanoi and even though [Philippines] President [Rodrigo] Duterte had expressed some kind of collaboration possibility with China, I think the Philippines in general would appreciate American strong presence


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…