Tue, Nov 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: Two US aircraft carriers support peace in West Pacific

Staff writer, with CNA

The US has sent two aircraft carriers to the West Pacific as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy and to maintain regional peace, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday.

Asked to comment on the ongoing operations of the USS John C. Stennis and the USS Ronald Reagan in the Pacific, Yen said that the ships are in the region as a tangible display of US President Donald Trump’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

The ongoing demonstration of US military strength is meant to maintain peace and stability in the Pacific, he told reporters on the sidelines of a legislative session.

The presence of the two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the Pacific was unrelated to the nine-in-one local elections on Saturday, Yen said.

The military fully respects freedom of navigation, the principle being defended by the US, and keeps close tabs on warships’ movements, he said.

The USS Ronald Reagan was nearing the Balintang Channel off the northern Philippines, while the USS John C. Stennis was in the Philippine Sea, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The carrier groups were conducting high-end dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea, a news release issued by the US Seventh Fleet on Wednesday last week said.

“Bringing two carrier strike groups together provides unparalleled naval combat power, tremendous operational flexibility and reach across the region,” US Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer was quoted as saying in the news release.

“It shows our forces at their best, operating confidently at sea, and demonstrates that the US Navy will fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” Sawyer said.

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