By: William Lowther / Staff reporter in WASHINGTON
A US Navy aircraft carrier and five escort ships have arrived in the South China Sea amid rising tensions over China’s militarization of disputed islands, Washington officials confirmed on Friday.
The Navy Times described the deployment as “a small armada.”
Officials approached by the Taipei Times played down the situation and passed it off as routine, but Fox News said that “multiple defense officials” told it the move was “a show of force” and a signal to China.
A US Pacific Fleet spokesman said the nuclear-powered carrier USS John C. Stennis and its air wing, along with two destroyers — USS Chung-Hoon and USS Stockdale — and two cruisers — USS Antietam and USS Mobile Bay — were in the region.
The Navy Times said that the command ship USS Blue Ridge, the floating headquarters of the Japan-based US Seventh Fleet, was also in the area. [FULL STORY]