U.S. Carriers Held Exercises in South China Sea
The drills are the first time in six years that featured dual U.S. carrier strike groups.
TAIPEI — Two U.S. aircraft carriers conducted drills at the South China Sea in a significant show of force, the U.S. Navy said in a news release. CNN reports that the exercise on July 4 was the first in six years to involve dual U.S. carrier strike groups in the maritime region.
The carriers transited from the Philippine Sea for drills that were seen as a challenge to China's own drills at the Paracel Islands, which saw the firing of an anti-ship missile the previous day. U.S. Navy institute News reports that Chinese warships observed the carriers.
The U.S. carrier strike force consisted of the nuclear-powered carriers Nimitz and Reagan with more than 60 aircraft each, supported by Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyers and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers.
The Paracel Islands are an archipelago in the disputed South China Sea. China has laid claims to the region. Areas of the South China Sea are also claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam. The South China Sea is strategically important because it is one of the world's busiest maritime regions.
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