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Beijing Slams US for Deliberately 'Flexing Muscles' in South China Sea Drills

© AP PhotoUSS Nimitz, left top, USS Ronald Reagan, left center
USS Nimitz, left top, USS Ronald Reagan, left center - Sputnik International
The US has sent two Navy aircraft carriers to the contested waters for the first time in six years. The US drills come just as Beijing wrapped up its own series of exercises in the South China Sea.

China's Foreign Ministry has condemned the US drills in the South China Sea, saying that Washington deliberately dispatched its aircraft carries to 'flex its muscles'. According to the ministry's spokesperson Zhao Lijian, the US move was aimed to drive a wedge between the two countries.

A crewman from the Vietnamese coastguard ship 8003 looks out at sea as Chinese coastguard vessels give chase to Vietnamese ships that came close to the Haiyang Shiyou 981, known in Vietnam as HD-981, oil rig in the South China Sea, July 15, 2014. - Sputnik International
US Worried About Chinese Military Drills in Contested Waters in South China Sea – Pentagon

Beijing's statement comes in response to the US naval exercise in the disputed waters involving two aircraft carriers – the Nimitz and the Reagan. According to the US Navy, the manoeuvres will send an unambiguous message to the US allies regarding Washington's commitment to "security and stability" in the region.

The United States previously voiced concerns about Beijing's military exercises in the sea around the Paracel Islands. The Pentagon warned that the move would further destabilise the situation in the South China Sea and violate an international pact to avoid activities that would escalate disputes in the region.

The majority of islands in the South China Sea are controlled by Beijing; however, the territory is also claimed by several other countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and the Philippines – all members of ASEAN.

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