A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Ronald Reagan has entered the South China Sea.
According to Al-Jazeera, the USS Reagan enters the South China Sea, as part of a routine mission, the US Navy said, at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, which claims most of the disputed waterway.
The carrier is being accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh and the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey, the US Navy said on Tuesday.
China frequently objects to US military missions in the South China Sea, saying they do not help promote peace or stability, and the latest mission comes after China condemned the Group of Seven (G7) nations for a statement criticizing Beijing over a range of issues.
“While in the South China Sea, the strike group is conducting maritime security operations, which include flight operations with fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, maritime strike exercises, and coordinated tactical training between surface and air units,” the US Navy said.
China has ramped up its military presence in the South China Sea in recent years, including building artificial islands and air bases, where it has installed missile systems and other equipment.
The South China Sea has become one of many flashpoints in the testy relationship between China and the US.