WASHINGTON — China’s first aircraft carrier has now completed a series of tests while training in the contested South China Sea region. The aircraft carrier has returned to port at the completion of the drills.
Reuters reported that these drills took place off the coast of Hainan Island and was the first time that China’s navy deployed a strike group of escort ships, which mirrored American naval strategy.
China, even with its diminishing young demographic, is trying to flex its muscle in the region by growing its navy. Their unilateral policies of claiming islands and trying to intimidate other regional neighbors has made Australia, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines restless.
Japan and China are embroiled in a dispute over the Senkaku, or what the Chinese call Diaoyu, island chain. Vietnam, Philippines and China, in addition to several other countries, are also disputing claims in the South China Sea.