Chinese carrier strike group conducts exercises in the South China Sea

Beijing (AP) — China’s Shandong aircraft carrier group recently conducted regular annual exercises in the South China Sea, the PLA said on Sunday after criticizing the United States for Beijing sending naval vessels to strategic areas. ..

Last week, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense called on the United States to detain front-line troops in the air and sea near China. He said US reconnaissance planes and warships have become more active around China since President Biden took office.

The South China Sea is particularly controversial. That’s because China’s small neighbors are also competing against one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, which Beijing claims in effect as a whole. China has built several artificial islands in conflict areas, saying the United States is moving to militarize the region.

Navy spokesman Gao Xiucheng said in a statement that the exercises were completely legal and part of protecting national sovereignty, security and development interests, and maintaining peace and stability in the region. ..

“We want the outside world to see it in an objective and rational way. In the future, the Chinese Navy will continue to carry out similar exercises as planned,” Gao said. Said.

Shandong is the second commissioned aircraft carrier in China, following the fully refurbished Liaoning, originally purchased as a hull from Ukraine.