China’s navy is reportedly challenging U.S. forces in East China Sea

With the announcement Monday by Chinese navy units that they are heading to the East China Sea, the two nations appear to be challenging a U.S. strategic hold in the region. Two Chinese warships…

China’s navy is reportedly challenging U.S. forces in East China Sea

With the announcement Monday by Chinese navy units that they are heading to the East China Sea, the two nations appear to be challenging a U.S. strategic hold in the region.

Two Chinese warships took part in a flag-raising ceremony at a naval base in Qingdao on Monday, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported. After the event, a commentary in China’s Global Times asserted that the Chinese navy had effectively broken the U.S. blockade of U.S. forces in the region.

Analysts say that the Chinese navy has an arsenal of expeditionary aircraft carriers — the JIN and Liaoning — and it is ramping up its search and rescue capabilities as it expands its security profile, while a U.S. carrier group — the Carl Vinson, currently off the coast of the Philippines — is off the western coast of Australia to counter China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The crux of the issue is a bit of rhetorical tension that has often existed between the two nations — how to react to one’s moves while maintaining a healthy relationship with a country on the brink of its naval expansion.

The reason it matters, analysts say, is that it follows the expansion of China’s air defense identification zone over the East China Sea and suggests that the Chinese have made recent advances with regards to their ability to execute military operations off the coast of Japan — what Japanese and U.S. military sources have previously described as a “shadow zone.”

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