US Deploys Amphibious Assault Craft in the South China Sea amid Tensions with Beijing

The United States (US) sent an amphibious assault vessel to the disputed waters in the South China Sea to add military presence in the region.

According to the Beijing-based South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), the satellite data showed that the USS Makin Island amphibious-ready group (ARG) traveled through the Strait of Malacca into the contentious waters from late Wednesday until early Thursday.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a tweet that the sailors on the USS Makin Island were conducting a “live-fire training exercise” with the hashtag “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Chinese military commentator Song Zhongping said that the US placed more military capacity in China as their relations became more intense.

“Since China-US relations are relatively tense, the US is putting more of its military capacity near China,” Zhongping said.

“Its transitioning to the South China Sea and western Pacific areas, in particular, is a normal situation,” he added.

Beijing had hoped that their relations with Washington would improve after US former president Donald Trump however there have not been “noticeable” changes in military activities in the Indo-Pacific under President Joe Biden.

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