Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chinese Ship Shadowing U.S. Aircraft Carrier John C. Stennis

A Chinese observation ship shadowed the U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Western Pacific on Wednesday, the carrier's commander said, as it joined warships from Japan and India for drills close to waters Beijing considers its backyard.

The Japanese government on Wednesday said a Chinese navy observation ship entered its territorial waters south of its southern Kyushu island. China said it was acting within the law and following the principle of freedom of navigation.
The Stennis joined nine other naval ships including a Japanese helicopter carrier and Indian frigates in seas off the Okinawan island chain. Sub-hunting patrol planes launched from bases in Japan are also participating in the joint annual exercise, dubbed Malabar.

Wary of China's more assertive role in the region, the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet plans to send more ships to East Asia to work alongside the Japan-based Seventh Fleet, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

An E-2D Hawkeye plane approaches U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire.

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