A United States Aircraft Carrier strike group has been deployed to the South China Sea.
The Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier, USS Carl Vinson began routine patrols in the South China Sea on the 18th of February.
The announcement was posted on the US Navy, Carl Vinson Facebook page.
The strike groups Commander, Rear Admiral James Kilby said, “Previous weeks of training in the Pacific has greatly improved the group’s readiness, also we are looking forward to demonstrating our capability and effectiveness whilst building upon existing strong relationships with our Allies Partners and friends in the Indo-Asia- Pacific region.”
The United States has been critical of China claiming almost all of the resource rich South China Sea and the construction of man-made islands for the build-up of military infrastructure and facility in the area saying they could be used to restrict access to the strategic sea lanes.
Approximately 5 Trillion dollars of trade passes through the Sea lanes each year.
Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all claim parts of the South China Sea because of the rich fish stocks and sea rights of use in the area. Also, the area is rich in oil and and other mineral deposits.
The continued wranglings of various countries’s right to use in the area is not new. What may be more applicable to current events may have very well been exacerbated by the election of a new president in the United States.
The influence of China in the area of Malaysia and Indonesia is well known. What is not well known is that China, in this particular theater of operations is continuing an island-building expansion process and the surrounding countries are quite alarmed. If the work continues, it could result in Chinese containment of the area. In short, China would control the sea lanes and control of any extra-country intercessions in the South China sea.
China continues to claim it respects free shipping and international commerce in the air and water.
Written By: MickG – Thailand