Aussie vessel joins US ships in S. China Sea exercises, SE Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR • An Australian frigate has joined three United States warships in the South China Sea near an area where a Chinese vessel is suspected to be exploring for oil, near waters also claimed by Vietnam and Malaysia. The warships arrived this week close to where the Chinese government survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 has been operating, which is in turn near where a vessel operated by Malaysia’s state-oil company Petronas is conducting exploratory drilling, regional security sources have said. The US navy said on Tuesday that the USS…

USS America, two other ships operate in South China Sea amid standoff

April 21 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy said Tuesday the amphibious assault ship USS America and two other vessels are operating in the South China Sea near a standoff between China and Malaysia. The Navy said in a Twitter message that the America and guided-missile destroyers USS Bunker Hill and USS Barry were traveling to the South China Sea “in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region” with the hashtag “Free and open Indo Pacific.” A Chinese government research ship last week started observing another ship in disputed…

USS America aircraft carrier steams to intercept Chinese ships in disputed waters near Malaysia

USS America has steamed to intercept a Chinese government survey ship and several of its China Coast Guard escorts after they ventured into contested waters off the coast of Malaysia – amid an international maritime stand-off between the two Asian nations. The United States called on China to stop its ‘bullying behavior’ in the South China Sea on Saturday, citing concerning reports regarding Beijing’s ‘provocative’ actions aimed toward offshore oil and gas developments in Malaysia’s mineral-rich Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). US officials accused China of taking advantage of the distraction…

Chinese and Malaysian ships in South China Sea standoff: sources

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Chinese government survey ship is tagging an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia’s state oil company Petronas in disputed waters in the South China Sea, three regional security sources said on Friday. China’s Haiyang Dizhi 8 entered waters near Malaysia on Thursday, according to ship tracking website Marine Traffic. On Friday, it was close to the Petronas-operated West Capella, according to the security sources, who did not want to be identified because they were not authorised to talk to the media. One of the sources said…

US military planes spotted after China sends ships past Taiwan

A US military reconnaissance jet was reportedly spotted flying near Taiwan’s airspace — the 12th time in the past three weeks that American military planes had been detected near the area. Citing flight data posted on Twitter by a military air movement tracker, the Taipei Times reported that a RC-135W Rivet Joint flew over the South China Sea on Tuesday. The move comes just one day after Japan and Taipei were forced to keep an eye on a Chinese aircraft carrier and its strike group as it sailed past Taiwan,…

The Marines want a missile to chase down moving ships in the South China Sea and other contested waterways

As it shifts its focus toward a potential fight with another great power, the Marine Corps wants to be able to strike an adversary hard at sea. The Corps is looking for missiles that it can fire against enemy ships while they’re on the move. “That is what matters in a contested environment in the South China Sea,” Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, told lawmakers Thursday. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. The US Marine Corps says it needs ground-launched missiles that can…

China Sends Ships, Planes over Disputed Seas to Show Strength after COVID-19 Outbreak | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – China is asserting itself in disputed waters around Asia this month to look strong after containing the world’s first coronavirus outbreak as the rest of the world grapples with the disease now.  The Communist leadership seeks an image boost among its own population that’s beleaguered by shutdowns and lockdowns — measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. The deadly respiratory disease virus was discovered in central China in December and led to about 81,000 cases there.  Chinese officials hope to appear strong too around the world against…

Navy preventive medicine teams embark ships in 7th Fleet

SOUTH CHINA SEA – Members of Navy Forward-Deployed Preventive Medicine Units (FDPMU) and Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) embarked several 7th Fleet ships March 14 to help combat the risk of and provide laboratory batch testing for COVID-19 aboard the ships. Teams are embarked on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and have the ability to batch test Sailors onboard who present with influenza-like illness symptoms, instead of only sending…