United States carrier starts 'routine' patrols in South China Sea

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said tension in the South China Sea had stabilised due to the hard work between China and Southeast Asia countries, and urged foreign nations including the USA to respect this.

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group was engaging in "routine operations in the South China Sea", the navy said in a statement on its website.

The aircraft carrier was last in the South China Sea two years ago, for exercises with Malaysia's navy and air force and has made 16 voyages to the region in its 35 years of U.S. navy service.

The strike group's commander, Rear Admiral James Kilby, said that weeks of training in the Pacific had improved the group's effectiveness and readiness. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims with Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said tension in the South China Sea had stabilised due to the hard work between China and Southeast Asia countries, and urged foreign nations including the U.S. to respect this.

On Friday, China wrapped up its own naval exercises in the South China Sea.

The USS Carl Vinson in the Philippine Sea earlier this month.

This file photo shows a part of the city of Sansha on Woody Island in the disputed Paracel chain, which China now considers part of its Hainan Province.

While deployed, the Carl Vinson CSG will remain under U.S. 3rd Fleet command and control, including beyond the worldwide dateline, which previously divided operational areas of responsibility for 3rd and 7th Fleets.

"The strike group recently enjoyed a port visit to Guam and after departing the Marianas, conducted operations in the Philippine Sea", it added.

US Navy officials announced a week ago that they were considering sailing more warships near China's man-made islands in the contested waters.

  • Leroy Wright