Alwaght- A US aircraft carrier was provocatively sailing through the South China Sea on Tuesday after China built a string of islands with military facilities in the strategic sea.
The US Navy also flew a small group of Philippine generals, officials and journalists to the USS ‘Theodore Roosevelt’.
According to reports, in a span of 20 minutes, 20 F-18 fighter jets took off and landed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.
The nuclear-powered warship, leading a carrier strike group, was conducting what the U.S.
On Tuesday, a Defense Ministry spokesman in Beijing said China is entitled to strengthen its defenses on islands in the disputed South China Sea. China’s military deployments are “the natural right of a sovereign nation that helps safeguard national sovereignty and security,” Ren Guoqiang said, adding that those measures aren’t directed at any specific countries.
Tension between the United States and China over trade and territory under US President Donald Trump has been stepped up of late, with fear in the region that the South China Sea, vital to global trade, could one day become a battleground between the two rival powers.
China has long objected to US military operations off its coasts, even in areas Washington insists are free to international passage.
China has repeatedly voiced its stance of respecting and safeguarding freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea for all countries in accordance with international law, but it opposes any country attempting to impair China's sovereignty and security interests.
The South China Sea is located between China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei and hosts one of the world’s busiest waterways and is believed to be rich in mineral and gas.
The neighboring countries have long disputed over ownership of territories in the waterbody.
China’s assertion of its sovereignty over Nansha Islands also known as Spratly, where it has built airstrips and military installations, has drawn criticism from the US.