carrier ussr Ronald Reagan had crossed the South China Sea and was currently in the Philippines Sea, east of Taiwan and south of the Philippines and Japan, a US Navy official confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday.
The Japanese-based Reagan is working with a guided missile cruiser, ussr antietamand a destroyer, the USSR Higgins.
“While they are capable of responding to any incident, these are normal, routine deployments,” the official said on condition of anonymity. The official said they were unable to comment on the exact locations.
The US Navy official said the amphibious assault ship USSR Tripoli was also on the field as part of a deployment that began from its home port of San Diego in early May.
Pelosi, a longtime critic of China, was expected to arrive in Taipei later on Tuesday, with people briefed on the matter, as the United States said it would not be intimidated by the Chinese “saber rattle” on the trip.
Confirmation of the deployment comes as a sign of military activity on both sides of the Taiwan Strait ahead of Pelosi’s visit. In addition to Chinese planes flying close to the midline dividing the sensitive waterway on Tuesday morning, several Chinese warships had remained close to the unofficial dividing line since Monday, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
China’s defense and foreign ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The source said both the Chinese warship and aircraft “squeezed” the midline on Tuesday morning, an unusual move the person described as “very provocative”.
The man said the Chinese plane made repeated tactical moves on Tuesday morning to “touch” the midline and circle back to the other side of the strait, while Taiwanese aircraft were on standby nearby. The plane of either side does not normally cross the midline. Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Tuesday it had full understanding of Taiwan’s military activities and would send troops appropriately in response to “enemy threats” if tensions with China escalate. The island’s official central news agency reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that the ministry had “strengthened” its combat alert level from Tuesday morning until Thursday afternoon.
In the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen, which faces Taiwan and is home to a large military presence, residents reported seeing armored vehicles on the move and posted photos online. The photos have not yet been confirmed by Reuters.
Chinese social media was filled with panic about both a potential conflict and patriotic fervor over the prospect of reunification with Taiwan.
Since last week, the People’s Liberation Army has conducted various exercises including live fire drills in South China, Yellow Sea and Bohan Seas.
Some regional military analysts say the increased deployment in times of tension increases the risk of accidents, even if neither side wants a real conflict.