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Chinese warships operating near Guam.

Chinese and Russian warships partaking in a joint naval exercise on December 27th, 2022. Image Credit: XU WEI/XINHUA VIA AP

Chinese warships including the aircraft carrier Liaoning are currently operating near the heavily fortified Guam, a US base. China is possibly sending a signal to USA in response to US routine patrols in the South China Sea and its huge involvement and commitment towards the defense of Taiwan.

The South China Sea is a disputed area between several countries. China claims practically the whole 1.3 million square miles of the sea. Several years ago, satellite images showed China carrying out land reclamation on several reefs. On these lands China built military bases and also a runway, on lands that which are not recognized as theirs according to international law. This has caused an uproar in several countries where most of that area consisting of both land and water, is claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The recurring presence of the US Navy is meant to bring a balance in the military presence in the South China Sea, and to send a direct message to China to stop breaking international law and expanding further.

The movement of Chinese warships was reported by Japanese officials on Thursday. They confirmed that the warships and aircraft carrier approached near the west edge of Guam. The US territory of Guam is an important base for them to project their military might in the region. Chinese officials said in a statement regarding their aircraft carrier deployment close to Guam, that it is ready to defend China against any potential US attacks launched from Guam.

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