FPI / July 4, 2019
By Richard Fisher
The last two weeks of June were marked by intense activity undertaken by China and Western navies.
During the week of June 17, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) aircraft carrier battle group, led by the carrier Liaoning, had sailed near Guam and circumnavigated the Philippines to pay a brief visit to the large PLAN base at Sanya.
Then the Liaoning group sailed through the Taiwan Strait by June 25 returning to its port near Qingdao.
Just the week before from June 10-12, 2019, a U.S. Navy group led by the 7th Fleet nuclear carrier USS Ronald Reagan and a Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force group led by the landing helicopter dock (LHD) Izumo conducted exercises in the South China Sea.
The Izumo is slated to be modified to be able to carry Lockheed Martin F-35B 5th generation fighters.
Possibly in response to the U.S.-Japanese exercise, by June 30 China was announcing that military exercises would be taking place in two South China Sea locations . . .