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USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan not intimidated: US Navy over 'aircraft carrier killer' missile threat by Chinese media

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Washington D.C. | July 6, 2020 1:41:48 AM IST
USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan are not intimidated, US Navy's Chief of Information said on Sunday (local time), responding to Chinese state media which boasted that "China has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons".

The United States has sent two aircraft carriers into the disputed waters of the South China Sea to participate in military exercises as Beijing flexes its muscle in the region.

"China has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like DF-21D and DF-26 "aircraft carrier killer" #missiles. South China Sea is fully within grasp of the #PLA; any US #aircraftcarrier movement in the region is at the pleasure of PLA: analysts," tweeted Global Times, along with a link of the report.

Responding to this tweet, US Navy's Chief of Information, said: "And yet, there they are."

"Two @USNavy aircraft carriers operating in the international waters of the South China Sea. #USSNimitz & #USSRonaldReagan are not intimidated #AtOurDiscretion," tweeted US Navy's Chief of Information.

The US navy had confirmed with ANI that the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz are conducting dual-carrier operations and exercises in the South China Sea to support a "free and open Indo-Pacific".

The two combat carriers along with four warships will include round-the-clock flights testing the striking ability of carrier-based aircraft. What grabs attention about this move by the US is that it is rare for major American and Chinese military drills to take place in the same region at the same time.

"I can confirm that the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) are conducting dual-carrier operations and exercises in the South China Sea to support a free and open Indo-Pacific. High-end integrated exercises build unmatched flexibility, endurance, manoeuvrability and firepower in an all-domain war-fighting environment," Lt Cmdr. Sean Brophy, APR+M, Public Affairs Officer for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, had told ANI.

"These efforts support enduring the US commitments to stand up for the right of all nations to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. This opportunity for two carrier strike groups to train and operate together in the region provides combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility and capabilities that only the US Navy can command," Lt Brophy had said.

The exercise is long-planned but comes as China conducts military drills of its own in the area, near the contested Paracel Islands, exercises that have been criticised by the US and other countries.

The US Navy's operation of two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the South China Sea region further represents a significant show of force and comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over a number of areas, including Hong Kong. (ANI)

 
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