US Navy planning ‘show of force’ to warn China
Pacific Fleet readies for war games as tensions boil over in South China Sea
The US Navy’s Pacific Fleet has reportedly drawn up plans for a “global show of force” to serve as a warning to China, according to a report by CNN.
The network claims the fleet is set to carry out a “highly focused and concentrated set of exercises involving US warships, combat aircraft and troops” for a week during November.
The report follows an incident earlier this week in the South China Sea, when a Chinese destroyer, Lanzhou, came within 41 metres of an American destroyer, the USS Decatur.
US Naval officials deemed the close call “unsafe and unprofessional”, condemning China for making what it said was a deliberately provocative manoeuvre.
The Straits Times notes that while “close encounters between US and Chinese forces are hardly unprecedented”, this week’s close call and the leak of plans for a show of force by the US is likely to cause tensions between Washington and Beijing to rise to their highest in years.