US criticizes Chinese flights over South China Sea, but says they posed no threat

The US military on Friday said that Chinese military flights in the past week in the South China Sea fit a pattern of destabilizing and aggressive behavior by Beijing, but posed no threat to a US Navy aircraft carrier strike group in the region. “The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group closely monitored all People’s Liberation Army Navy and Air Force activity, and at no time did they pose a threat to US Navy ships, aircraft, or sailors,” the US military’s Pacific Command said in a statement. A US official, speaking…

War games in Zambales give respite to fisherfolk

MASINLOC fishermen are getting some respite from the hostility of Chinese coast guard personnel, who have been barring them from the disputed Panatag Shoal, with the Balikatan exercises near their area. RAFFY LERMA SAN ANTONIO, Zambales—Fishermen in Masinloc town in Zambales province said the joint military exercises of Philippine and American troops at Naval Education Training Center here could provide them some respite from the hostility of Chinese coast guard personnel who have been barring them from the disputed Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal, or Bajo de Masinloc to locals). Although…

New Biden era of confrontation in the South China Sea – Asia Times

All the pieces are falling into place for a new era of US-China confrontation in the South China Sea under the newly inaugurated Joe Biden administration. On Wednesday, Beijing said its deployment of a squadron of fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace last weekend was meant as a “somber warning” to “external powers”, a thinly veiled threat to the US. On the same day, the US State Department said in a statement that the US’ 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines “will apply to armed attacks against Philippine armed forces,…