Connect with us


US ramps up presence in South China Sea along with coronavirus rhetoric




Over recent weeks US Navy ships and Air Force bombers have undertaken high profile missions aimed at telegraphic a clear message to China that the US military intends to maintain a presence in the region. The US is ramping up military pressure on China and tensions in the South China Sea. It’s accusing Beijing of leveraging the Covid-19 pandemic to extend its sphere of influence around the region.

The US Navy Pacific Fleet has also taken the unusual step of announcing that all of its submarines in the region were at sea conducting operations “in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region amidst the pandemic caused by the coronavirus.”

But the US-China tensions around the South China Sea, which extends from southern China, Vietnam’s east and southern coast, the Philippines and Malaysia, didn’t just start with the coronavirus. Tensions have been building for many years.

The military mobilisation comes as the US increases pressure diplomatically with US President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continuing their public rhetoric blaming Beijing for failing to stem the virus’s spread and not being transparent during the early stages of the outbreak. The Pentagon is now going further accusing China of exploiting the pandemic to gain military and economic advantages by expanding its influence over the South China Sea.

The US Navy Capt. Michael Kafka, a spokesperson for the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command, has repeated the White House narrative.

“The People’s Republic of China is attempting to use the regional focus on Covid to assertively advance its own interests.”

US Gen. Timothy Ray, commander of the Air Force Global Strike command, overseeing the bomber force in the area, ratcheted up the sabre-rattling even further.

“We have the capability and capacity to provide long range fires anywhere, anytime and can bring overwhelming firepower, even during the pandemic,”

At the end of April the US Navy again challenged China’s claims to the waters surrounding the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, contested islands that the US has long said China is using to house weapons and military facilities.

US ramps up presence in South China Sea along with coronavirus rhetoric | News by Thaiger
The South China Sea remains a crucial strategic location, home to some of the busiest shipping routes in the world as well as potential natural resource deposits such as oil and gas. There are multiple claimants to many of the islands and territories, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan. And China.

China has constructed outposts on man-made islands in the disputed area in recent years, installing military facilities and missile storage as part of a bid to exert control over the strategic waterways, according to US officials.

Last Wednesday a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS McCampbell, transited the Taiwan Strait. The US routinely traverses the Taiwan Strait but the Chinese military views the strategic waterway, separating China from Taiwan, as a priority area and often shadows US vessels that sail through the area.

Lt. Anthony Junco, a spokesperson for the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, says Wednesday’s action was nothing unusual.

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

US ramps up presence in South China Sea along with coronavirus rhetoric | News by Thaiger


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find more SE Asian News courtesy of Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism5 hours ago

Pattaya October reopening hampered by obstacles

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Thong Lor again: 31 arrested in club violating Covid-19 rules

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Pfizer vaccine application received, review process begun

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Visa9 hours ago

Covid-19 prevention leads to 14 arrests of longterm overstays

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths, provincial totals

Thailand10 hours ago

Red tape and restrictions suggest a slow Phuket reopening

Phuket10 hours ago

UPDATE: Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 ‘sandbox’ won’t happen

Tourism11 hours ago

Koh Samui eyes August 1 reopening, “Samui Sealed Route”

Weather12 hours ago

Village need rain? Have you considered a giant penis?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

8.3% of Thailand’s 50 million vaccine target reached so far

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Site launched for June 14 vaccine signup for all foreigners

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Free quarantine accommodation for arriving Thais to be cancelled

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox – bar, clubs closed? Local AZ problems, Sex toy arrest | June 11

Drugs1 day ago

UN report: Changes in Southeast Asia drug trafficking during the pandemic

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8