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Indo-Pacific Power Play: U.S., Allies Flex Military Might in Philippine Sea Amid Escalating Tension with China

United States Navy Flexes Muscle with Warships in Indo-Pacific
Source: MEGA

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is one of several U.S. warships flowing through the Philippine Sea.

Feb. 6 2024, Published 11:02 a.m. ET

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A display of strength recently unfolded in the Philippine Sea as the USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt, both San Diego-based aircraft carriers, sailed in formation, according to sources.

Accompanied by vessels from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and other U.S. warships, the carriers executed a force-readiness exercise, underscoring the commitment of the United States and its allies in the region.

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The demonstration is part of a broader trend of increased U.S. Navy presence in the Indo-Pacific, a response to heightened tensions, particularly with China's threats against Taiwan and recent threats against Philippines' ships.

Leading a formidable fleet, the Vinson and Roosevelt were joined by the USS Lake Erie, USS Princeton and destroyers USS Sterett and USS Halsey. Additionally, the USNS Mercy, based in San Diego, has been active in the Indo-Pacific, while the USS Abraham Lincoln has operated in Southern California.

The Philippine Sea, connecting to the eastern side of the South China Sea, has become a focal point for Indo-Pacific tensions. Recent months have witnessed rising U.S.-China tensions, notably in the South China Sea, where China's disputes with the Philippines, a U.S. ally, have escalated.

U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 with the Philippines recently.

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The treaty commits the U.S. and Philippines to mutual protection in the Pacific Area in the event of an external armed attack. President Biden declared that the U.S. would respond militarily if any nation attacked Filipino troops.

The ambassador of the Philippines, Jose Manuel Romualdez, highlighted the South China Sea as a hotspot and voiced concerns that the tensions would turn into a world war. After making remarks that attracted notice, Romualdez was accused of sensationalism and of putting American interests ahead of Philippine ones by The Global Times.

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Furthermore complicating matters, Russia has also asserted itself in the South China Sea. According to recent reports, during an anti-submarine training, the Pacific Fleet frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov of Moscow located and engaged a simulated enemy submarine in the vicinity.

This comes after Russia conducted air defense exercises and crucial marine activities in the area in October 2023.

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