US carrier group enters South China Sea amid tensions between China and Taiwan
A US carrier group entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas” on Saturday as Taiwan reported that China sent fighter jets and bombers into the island’s airspace, according to a report on Sunday.
USS Theodore Roosevelt led the strike group into the South China Sea days after President Biden was sworn in at Wednesday’s inauguration at the Capitol – setting up an early test for the administration?, Reuters reported.?“After sailing through these waters throughout my 30-year career, it’s great to be in the South China Sea again, conducting routine operations, promoting freedom of the seas, and reassuring allies and partners,” Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander of the strike group, ?said in a statement.
Ch?ina, which claims control of large areas of the South China Sea along with Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan, has repeatedly criticized the US for ?sending navy ships to the region.
The USS Roosevelt is part of a strike group composed of the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, and the guided-missile destroyers USS Russell and USS John Finn.
?On Saturday, China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace – eight bombers, four fighter jets and one anti-submarine patrol aircraft ?Blinken said at his hearing that the US would continue to uphold its commitment to back Taiwan.?“There’s been a strong and long bipartisan commitment to Taiwan,” Blinken said, adding, “the commitment to Taiwan is something that we hold to very strongly.”