The South China Sea region is witnessing an increasing amount of tension between the forces of the USA and the Chinese govt. This is what the chiefs of the US air force have admitted. The troubled and politically turbulent region is where the US air fleet’s U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, Bombers, and Global Hawk drones carry out operations termed as “freedom of navigation.” The area is where the Chinese govt has set up air defense facilities. These are present in the artificial islands.
The US Pacific Air Force commander, General Charles Brown said the air and naval exercises are nothing new for the US forces as far as the South China Sea is concerned. The US forces have been conducting such exercises in the region for more than a decade. The warplanes of the US air force accompany the anti-submarine planes. The flight exercises of the US forces did not get much media coverage as to such, but the Chinese Govt closely watched each move. Another issue the political analysts are worried about is the possibility of the clash of the naval forces of the two countries. The islands are where several submarines are stationed, and they may pose hurdles for naval patrols carried out by the US naval warships. To counter the US naval presence, China is about to deploy airships in the region.
Of late, the USA and China have locked horns several times over the trade, and the conflicts have affected the military relations. The South China Sea happens to be a busy trade route, and the abundance of fish and possible oil and gas resources has made it even more lucrative. So, several countries have claimed territory, including China, Malaysia, and the Philippines. China has set up military outposts with air defense radars, airfields, and missiles. It has also locked horns with the Asian countries over Paracel and Spratly islands. The US Navy’s patrols in the region have invited sharp reactions from the Chinese military forces. The development comes at a time when the two countries are trying to negotiate the trade differences.