WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has deployed an aircraft carrier and two other warships to the Philippines for a scheduled patrol that demonstrates the continued US presence in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, the US Navy said in a press release on Tuesday.
"This continued presence in the Indo-Pacific, at sea, and in visits to ports like this, promotes security and stability that has driven the peace and prosperity that benefits all regional countries," Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, commander, Task Force 70, said in the release.
US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan along with two guided missile-cruisers, USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville, arrived in Manila on Tuesday for a regularly scheduled port visit, according to the release.
Last month, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Washington would continue to conduct military exercises in the South China Sea as long as China continues to militarize islands in the disputed water. Mattis, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, is expected to meet with Chinese defense officials as tensions mount between Washington and Beijing over critical security issues.
In 2016, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled that Beijing's claims to sovereignty over South China Sea waters had no legal basis. China denied the court ruling and argued that the tribunal had no jurisdiction in the case.
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