Beijing Calls US Navy Operations in South China Sea Muscle Flexing
14:55 GMT 28.07.2022 (Updated: 12:44 GMT 19.06.2023)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has sent its aircraft carrier to the South China sea as a show of strength, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday.
"China’s position on the relevant issue is clear and consistent. This is not the first time that the US has sent its aircraft carrier to the South China Sea to flex its muscles. It is clear to us all who poses the biggest threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific," Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.
USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group departed Changi Naval Base in Singapore on July 26 and are heading towards Taiwan, according to ship-tracking information. The passage is taking place ahead of a likely visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei, and growing Chinese discontent over it.
Earlier this month, media reported that Pelosi was preparing to visit Taiwan in August, reigniting discontent in Beijing. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that in the event of Pelosi's visit to the island, Beijing will definitely take decisive measures to protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the US will be fully responsible for all the serious consequences resulting from the visit.
Taiwan became alienated from Beijing after becoming a stronghold of the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) that suffered defeat to the Communist Party in a civil war in 1949. The Chinese mainland and the island resumed business and informal contacts in the late 1980s. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign countries with Taiwan and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.