US Bombers Flyover Contested South China Sea

Two U.S B-1 Lancer bombers from Guam flew over the contested South China Sea Thursday, the U.S. Air Force confirmed Friday. The U.S. flyover asserts its “freedom of navigation” rights and challenges China’s claims to almost the whole waterway, Reuters reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the country does not oppose freedom of navigation or overflight for the East and South China Seas “but China resolutely opposes individual countries using the banner of freedom of navigation and overflight to flaunt military force and harm China’s sovereignty and security.”

The flight took place as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepare to meet to discuss escalating tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs during the G20 summit in Germany.

On Tuesday, July 4th, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some analysts believe may be able to reach Alaska.

 The South China Sea carries about $5 trillion in trade per year and Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also make claims on the sea.

 

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