US shows its maritime resolve in disputed South China Sea, sending signal to Beijing
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — America sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on a cruise through the South China Sea on Saturday, projecting its power in waters that are fast becoming a focal point of its strategic rivalry with Beijing.
The USS George Washington’s mission could raise hackles in China, which is locked in disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and other governments over ownership of islands in the region.
It will likely reassure the jittery smaller nations of Washington’s support in their tussles with China, whose growing economic and military might is leading to a greater assertiveness in pressing its claims in the South China Sea. The United States is building closer economic and military alliances with Vietnam and other nations in the region as part of a “pivot” away from the Middle East to Asia.
China is also locked in an unexpectedly fierce dispute with American ally Japan over…
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