War Is Boring
Date: July 4, 2020
By: Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The US Navy is deploying its two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers – USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan – to conduct exercises in the South China Sea, piling pressure on an ambitious Beijing that has opened multiple fronts including one with India along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. The US supercarriers are reported to be crossing Luzon Strait, the strait between Taiwan and Luzon island of the Philippines that connects Philippine Sea to the South China Sea.
The US deployment comes after Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army Navy conducted military drills in the contested waters, provoking a sharp reaction from neighbouring states and Washington. The US navy has said its operations in the South China Sea were designed to “support free and open Indo-Pacific”.
“The purpose is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to regional security and stability,” Rear Admiral George M Wikoff commander of the strike group led by USS Ronald Reagan told Wall Street Journal, which first reported the exercises.
China claims 90% of the South China Sea through which about $3 trillion of trade passes each year. Over the last decade, Beijing has gone ahead to build man-made islands and set up military installations including military-grade airfields in several areas. [FULL STORY]