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Call & Response: U.S. Sends Second Carrier to Asia Amid Tensions with China

Nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

Nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) The Vinson will join the Japan-based USS George Washington strike group. 

China demands end to U.S. surveillance flights 

 reports: The Navy is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Asia Pacific region amid new tensions with China over a dangerous aerial encounter between a Chinese interceptor and Navy P-8 surveillance craft.P-8A-buzzed-map

 “We stand by our account of this dangerous and unprofessional incident.”

— Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby

The strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson departed San Diego for the Pacific on Friday, the Navy said in an announcement of what it terms a “planned” deployment.

China’s military on Saturday, meanwhile, demanded an end to all U.S. monitoring flights and called U.S. criticism of  dangerous Chinese jet maneuvers false.

Chinese-Defense-Ministry-spokesman-Yang-Yujun

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in a statement that a Chinese fighter jet made a “regular identification and verification” of the Navy P-8 anti-submarine warfare jet during an encounter in an area 135 miles east of Hainan Island.

“We are concerned that the intercepting crews from that unit are acting aggressively and demonstrating a lack of regard for the regard for the safety of our aircrews.”

— Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Pool

Yang called Pentagon criticism of the incident “totally groundless” and insisted the Chinese pilot operated professionally and kept a safe distance.

A P-8A Poseidon assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 is seen in flight over Jacksonville, Fla. (U.S Navy photo by Personnel Specialist 1st Class Anthony Petry

A P-8A Poseidon assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 is seen in flight over Jacksonville, Fla. (U.S Navy photo by Personnel Specialist 1st Class Anthony Petry)

The Chinese spokesman’s account, published in the state-run Xinhua news agency, is at odds with Pentagon officials who called the encounter both dangerous and aggressive. A White House official also said the dangerous intercept was a Chinese “provocation.”

“We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law.”

— Rear Adm. John Kirby

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby on Friday called the maneuvers by the Chinese J-11—a Russian design Su-27—a dangerous and unprofessional encounter and said the military has protested the incident to the Chinese military.

“We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law,” Kirby said, adding that the pilot of the J-11 was “very, very close; very dangerous.”

Asked Saturday about Yang’s assertion, Kirby told the Free Beacon: “We stand by our account of this dangerous and unprofessional incident.”

The Carl Vinson strike group will patrol “both 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.” The 7th fleet covers the Pacific and the 5th Fleet is responsible for operations in the Middle East.

The guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and three guided missile destroyers, the USS Gridley, USS Sterett, and USS Dewey also deployed with the Vinson.

The Vinson will join the Japan-based USS George Washington strike group…(read more)

Washington Free Beacon   Follow @BillGertz 

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One Comment on “Call & Response: U.S. Sends Second Carrier to Asia Amid Tensions with China”

  1. […] By Pundit from another Planet China demands end to U.S. surveillance flights Bill Gertz reports: The Navy is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Asia Pacific region amid new tensions with China over a dangerous aerial encounter between a Chinese interceptor and Navy P-8 surveillance craft. “We stand by our account of this dangerous and unprofessional incident.” – Pentagon spokesman […] Like this? Read more and get your own subscription at […]


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