Fox News senior strategic analyst and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane told “America’s Newsroom” on Monday that the United States’ move to send two aircraft carriers into the South China Sea sends the right message to “our partners and allies” and is “exactly the right thing for the United States military to be doing.”
A U.S. Navy official confirmed to Fox News on Sunday that the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan are now in the South China Sea for military drills.
“The purpose is to show an unambiguous signal to our partners and allies that we are committed to regional security and stability,” Rear Adm. George Wikoff told the Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the exercises likely to irk Beijing.
The drills, to support a free and open Indo-Pacific and promote an international rules-based order, also included “round-the-clock flights testing the striking ability of carrier-based aircraft,” he added.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Monday White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said, “the message is clear, we’re not going to stand by and let China or anyone else take the reins in terms of being the most powerful, dominant force.”
Host Sandra Smith pointed to a statement from China on the South China Sea military exercises.
“This provocative conduct by the United States gravely violates the relevant International laws and rules and seriously violates Chinese sovereignty and security interests,” The Global Times reported Senior Col. Li Huamin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Military Southern Theater Command, said. “This is deliberately increasing security risks in the region and could very easily spark an unforeseen incident.”
Smith then asked Keane, “What message are we sending there?”
“We are sending the message that we are a Pacific nation, we always have been,” he said in response. “We have a significant military capability.”
He went on to say that “we want to demonstrate to our partners and to our allies that we will not stand idly by and let them push around our friends and partners in that region of the world.”
Keane then said that since the coronavirus pandemic started, China has been “trying to demonstrate to our allies and partners that the United States no longer is the power that it used to be, it’s beset with huge COVID problems, it’s Navy is having major issues, etc.”
He explained that “that hasn’t worked.”
“Our allies aren’t buying that nonsense, but that’s what they’ve [China has] been putting out and they have been increasing their intimidation and coercion from Japan to Malaysia and from Australia to India,” Keane continued.
“This is in response to that, to demonstrate to our partners and allies that we’re there and we’re going to continue to be there and it’s exactly the right thing for the United States military to be doing.”
Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report.
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