The Navy Times reported on Sunday that the US Navy and Pacific Command leaders were hoping to ratchet up the freedom of navigation operations in a strategic waterway, citing some unnamed officials. The operations could be carried out by warships with the San Diego based Carl Vinson carrier strike group which is currently sailing in the Western Pacific.
Speaking to the media persons on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that China has backed its freedom of navigation in the waters due to the hard work between China and Southeast Asia countries, but opposes any U.S. actions that challenge its sovereignty and security.
Dave Bennett, a spokesman for Carrier Strike Group One said that the group has not discussed any future operations of its units. The “US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific regularly and routinely for more than 70 years”.
As per the reports claimed by China, the United States has conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the area last October when the USS Decatur, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed near the Parcel Islands, which are under Chinese control.