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South China Sea alert: Beijing warns Biden pushing it to brink of terrifying conflict
US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
Meanwhile state-run Chinese media has claimed the new administration is seeing how far it could push China, both with regard to the South China Sea and Taiwan. Chinese jets also crossed Taiwan’s air defence zone on Saturday and Sunday in a clear illustration of heightened tensions in the region.
This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region
The group, led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea at the weekend to promote “freedom of the seas”, the US military announced on Sunday.
Foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, told reporters: “The United States frequently sends aircraft and vessels into the South China Sea to flex its muscle.
“This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region.”
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Rear Admiral Doug Verissimo, commander of the strike group, said: “After sailing through these waters throughout my 30-year career, it’s great to be in the South China Sea again, conducting routine operations, promoting freedom of the seas, and reassuring allies and partners.
“With two-thirds of the world’s trade travelling through this very important region, it is vital that we maintain our presence and continue to promote the rules-based order which has allowed us all to prosper.”
China, led by President Xi Jinping, has repeatedly complained about US Navy ships getting close to islands it occupies in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan all have competing claims.
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Separately, a total of 15 Chinese aircraft including 12 fighter jets entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Sunday, the island’s defence ministry said, the second day of incursions by China, with eight bombers and four fighters doing likewise the previous day.
China has not commented on what its air force was doing, with Zhao referring questions to the defence ministry.
He underlined China’s position that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and that the United States should abide by the “one China” principle.
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Mr Biden’s new administration has said the US commitment to Taiwan is “rock-solid”.
The United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
However, it remains the democratic island’s most important international backer and main arms supplier – something which China has frequently railed against.
An editorial written by China Global Television Network’s Chen Zhao and also published on the official website of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said: “As it surveys the shattered geopolitical wreckage left by the Trump administration, the new administration is testing how far it can push China in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits.
“To find out, on Saturday, Washington sent an aircraft carrier group to test the uncertain waters.
“The threat of military action against China would certainly be a political boost for Biden at home.”
The article claimed after four years of “demonisation” by Mr Trump administration, a “shooting war” would be popular with what it called the “disappointed ‘America First’ crowd”.
However, it added: “The US should be under no illusion that using military force against China would somehow yield a positive response.
“The US might be able to bully smaller countries, but China is much larger, much more capable of defending itself, and will prove to be a tough opponent to any country that infringes on its core interests.”
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