As tensions with China over Nancy Pelosi’s potential trip to Taiwan increase, a U.S. aircraft carrier and its strike group have deployed toward the disputed area of the South China Sea following a port stop in Singapore.
While confirming the deployment of the USS Ronald Reagan to the important commerce route, representatives from the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet declined to comment when asked about any conflicts related to Pelosi’s travel as speaker of the US House of Representatives.
According to a statement from Commander Hayley Sims, “USS Ronald Reagan and her strike group are underway, operating in the South China Sea following a successful port visit to Singapore.”
Sims continued by saying that Reagan is carrying out her customary patrol in favor of a free and open Indo-Pacific while continuing with her regular, planned activities.
The announcement of the deployment of the Japanese-based carrier comes amid diplomatic spats between Beijing and Washington over Pelosi’s visit, which is apparently scheduled to occur next month after being delayed earlier in the year. The potential trip has not been confirmed by Pelosi.
Despite having met with Pelosi and providing her with a security assessment, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated on Wednesday that any statements on a potential travel to Taiwan would need to come from her office.
In their sixth phone chat, which might happen as soon as Thursday, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to discuss the tensions surrounding Taiwan, which is democratically governed.
According to a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry on Monday, China has conveyed severe warnings to U.S. authorities over Pelosi’s potential trip to Taiwan. Beijing has never renounced using force to annex Taiwan and views the island as a part of its sovereignty.
Prior to arriving in Singapore for a five-day rest stop over the weekend, the Reagan strike group had been conducting operations in the South China Sea earlier in the month.
Based on prior acts as well as the most recent tensions, security expert Ian Storey, who is based in Singapore, said he would anticipate Chinese boats to follow the attack group.