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U.S. Navy Commander Calls for Action Against Beijing’s South China Sea Aggression

U.S. Navy Commander Calls for Action Against Beijing's South China Sea Aggression (Photo: RT)
U.S. Navy Commander Calls for Action Against Beijing's South China Sea Aggression (Photo: RT)

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, the U.S. Navy Commander of the Seventh Fleet, has voiced concerns over China’s assertive actions in the South China Sea. This comes in the wake of a recent incident where a Chinese coast guard vessel employed a water cannon against a Philippine boat, escalating tensions in the region.

The U.S. Navy Commander pointed to the incident on August 5th, where a Chinese coast guard ship employed a water cannon against a Philippine vessel carrying supplies to troops stationed on a grounded warship in the South China Sea. (Photo: Bharatshakti)

The U.S. Navy Commander pointed to the incident on August 5th, where a Chinese coast guard ship employed a water cannon against a Philippine vessel carrying supplies to troops stationed on a grounded warship in the South China Sea. (Photo: Bharatshakti)

U.S. Navy Commander Calls for Action

Speaking from Manila, Philippines, U.S. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thomas underscored the necessity of challenging and curtailing China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea.

According to a published article, he offered reassurance to the Philippines, emphasizing the United States’ support in confronting the shared challenges posed by China’s actions. The Seventh Fleet, the largest among the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed fleets, is headquartered in Japan and comprises approximately 70 ships, more than 150 aircraft, and over 27,000 sailors.

U.S. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thomas stressed the importance of responding to provocative actions in what is often referred to as the “grey zone.” He emphasized the need to push back against actions that incrementally encroach on the sovereignty and interests of nations in the region.

The U.S. Navy Commander pointed to the incident on August 5th, where a Chinese coast guard ship employed a water cannon against a Philippine vessel carrying supplies to troops stationed on a grounded warship in the South China Sea. The Chinese Embassy in Manila has yet to respond to these developments.

READ ALSO: European Union Backs US Anti-Satellite Missile Test Ban, Prompting Strong Rejection from China 

U.S. Navy Commander’s Discussion with Philippines Western Command

During his visit, U.S. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thomas held discussions with Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, the head of the Philippine Western Command responsible for overseeing the South China Sea. The aim was to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by the Philippines and explore opportunities for U.S. assistance in addressing these challenges.

This visit to Manila also saw U.S. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thomas embarking on a flight to survey the South China Sea firsthand, underlining the U.S. Navy’s commitment to regional stability.

The Philippines secured an international arbitration award against China in 2016, which rejected Beijing’s broad sovereignty claims over most of the South China Sea as lacking a legal basis.

U.S. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thomas’s statements underscore the U.S. Navy’s commitment to safeguarding international waters and supporting nations in the face of challenges to regional stability.

READ ALSO: US-China Flight Expansion: A Step Towards Better Relations? 

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