The US military said on Sunday that the aircraft carrier group Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas“, at a time when tension between China and Taiwan is causing concern in Washington.
The Indian and Pacific Oceans Region Command said in a statement that the attack group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day that Taiwan announced a major incursion of Chinese bombers and fighters in its area near the Pratas Islands.
The statement added that the group entered the waterway, of which China claims sovereignty over a large part, to conduct routine operations “to ensure freedom of the seas and build partnerships that enhance maritime security.”.
Anthony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for the position of Secretary of State, said during the confirmation hearing that he would take over the portfolio in the Senate on Tuesday, that there is “no doubt” that China represents the most dangerous challenge facing Washington compared to any other country.
The US military’s statement said that the aircraft carrier was sailing with the guided-missile cruiser Bunker Hill and the two destroyers Russell and John Fein armed with guided missiles.