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US Holds Naval Exercises With Allies in Asia Amid China Tension

NEW DELHI/TOKYO—The United States is conducting two military exercises in Asian waters this week involving allies Japan, Australia and India, the U.S. navy said on Tuesday.

The exercises come as military rivalry between the United States and China is intensifying and days after the United States said Chinas claims of sovereignty in the disputed South China Sea were illegal.

The United States has long opposed Chinas expansive territorial claims on the South China Sea, sending warships regularly through the strategic waterway to demonstrate freedom of navigation.

China opposes such exercises and said the U.S. rejection of its claims in the South China Sea raised tension and undermined stability in the region.

The USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan were deployed to the South China Sea twice this month but this week, the Nimitz was in the Indian Ocean for exercises with the Indian navy, the U.S. navy said, in the latest sign of growing cooperation between the forces.

The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz
The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz
The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76, front) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68, rear) Carrier Strike Groups sail together in formation, in the South China Sea, on July 6, 2020. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy via AP)

Rear Admiral Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, said in a statement that Mondays drills with the Indian navy helped improve the interoperability of their forces.

“While operating together, the U.S. and Indian naval forces conducted high-end exercises designed to maximize training and interoperability, including air defense,” the U.S. navy said.

Indias relations with China have also been strained after a deadly clash on their disputed border in the Himalayas last month, prompting calls in India for closer security ties with the United StatesRead More – Source

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