US Navy tweets photos of US warships’ passage in PHL seas ahead of Pelosi’s visit in Taiwan

(Eagle News) — The US Navy released several photos of US warships passing in Philippine seas ahead of the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan.

On Tuesday, August 2, in a tweet, the US Pacific Fleet, described as the “world’s largest fleet command,” posted several photos of the US warships’ passage in Philippine seas over the weekend.

Screenshot of a tweet by the US Navy on August 2 showing photos showing the USS Ronald Reagan passing through the San Bernardino Strait in the Philippines over the weekend (Courtesy US Navy tweet)

The US Navy, posted in a tweet, that at least three powerful US warships — the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Higgins, and the USS Antietam — “conducted an archipelagic sea lane passage through the San Bernardino Strait this weekend.” The Bernardino Strait is a strait in the Philippines that connects the Samar Sea to the Philippine Sea.

The USS Ronald Reagan is a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier of the US Navy, while the USS Higgins is a a United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The USS Antietam is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers of the US Navy. They are part of the Carrier Strike Group 5, the U.S. Navy carrier strike group assigned to the United States Pacific Fleet and permanently forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet which is stationed in Japan.

The US Navy’s Pacific Fleet also retweeted a post by the US Seventh Fleet of the US Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier Gipper which ” conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command’s dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) and a Super Puma (EC-225) in the Philippine Sea” on Sunday, July 31.

These were in preparation of the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan, which according to US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby could “raises the stakes of a miscalculation”.

Pelosi used a US military plane in going to Taiwan.

Still, Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesman, said Pelosi was entitled to go where she pleased.

“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding US policies into some sort of crisis,” he told reporters.

China has slammed Pelosi’s visit, saying it was a “serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués.”

“It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence,’” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, August 2, more than 20 Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan’s air defence zone, officials in Taipei said, as US House Speaker Pelosi began her controversial visit to the self-ruled island that Beijing considers its territory.

(with a report from Agence France Presse)