US, allies plan show of force in South China Sea — RT World News

Japan, Australia and the Philippines joined Washington to hold a joint military exercise in waters claimed by Beijing

The United States and three of its allies have announced a joint military exercise in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, potentially escalating tensions with Beijing as they seek to show their commitment to protecting their rights. “Protecting the international order.”

The US-led group will hold a “Maritime Cooperation Activity” It is the first in a series of joint exercises on Sunday, according to A statement Issued by the defense ministers of the four countries. The exercises will include naval and air forces and will take place in waters claimed by both China and the Philippines.

“Every nation should be free to conduct lawful air and sea operations.” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in the statement. “These activities with our allies Australia, Japan and the Philippines underscore our shared commitment to ensuring the freedom of all countries to fly, sail and act where international law allows. Together, our operations support the peace and stability at the heart of our shared vision of a free and open region.

This announcement comes after the US and Chinese armies Talks were held in Hawaii earlier this week — the first such meeting since 2021 — to discuss safety measures to avoid serious accidents when their forces operate in close proximity. Chinese Ministry of Defence Confirm thats it “It strongly opposes any actions that would jeopardize its sovereignty under the guise of freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Sunday's joint exercises in the South China Sea are clearly just such an exercise, as is their stated goal “Supporting the right to freedom of navigation and overflight.” Austin and the other three defense chiefs said: “We stand with all nations in protecting the international order based on the rule of law that forms the foundation for a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region.” They reiterated that their countries view the 2016 international arbitration award against China as tantamount to an international arbitral award “A final and legally binding decision on the parties to the dispute.”

This ruling, issued by a court in The Hague, concluded that the so-called China “Nine-point line” – which includes about 90% of the South China Sea – was invalid under international law. Chinese officials refused to accept the committee's decision and claimed it had no jurisdiction in the case. Beijing warned against holding joint US military exercises that might lead to this He intervenes In its regional conflict and undermining its security interests.

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