Big U.S. Fleet Nears Disputed Islands, But What For?

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U.S. Navy

Aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis, front, and USS George Washington sail in formation with an escort vessel during a training exercise in waters near Guam, earlier this month.

TOKYO – It’s probably just a coincidence; no need to worry yet. But the U.S. has quietly assembled a powerful air, land and sea armada not far from where Japan and China are squaring off over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Two Navy aircraft carrier battle groups and a Marine Corps air-ground task force have begun operating in the Western Pacific, within easy reach of the Senkaku Islands. That’s where Japanese and Chinese patrol boats are engaged in an increasingly tense standoff.

Chinese vessels have repeatedly entered territorial waters around the small islands in recent weeks and Coast Guard vessels from Japan and Taiwan fired water cannons at each other last week. The islands are controlled and administered by Japan, but claimed by both China and Taiwan.

No warships have been directly involved in the confrontations, so far. But China has vowed to continue sending patrol vessels into territorial waters and Japan has assembled scores of Coast Guard vessels to “defend” the islands.

The U.S. hasn’t taken sides in the ownership dispute, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for “cooler heads” to prevail. Nonetheless, U.S. officials have stated clearly that the Senkakus fall under the U.S.-Japan security treaty, which would require the U.S. to come to Japan’s aid in case of attack.

Navy officials confirmed Sunday that the USS George Washington carrier strike group has begun operating in the East China Sea, near the disputed islands. The USS John C. Stennis group is only slightly further away in the South China Sea. Each carrier is armed with more than 80 warplanes, and strike groups typically include guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, submarines and supply ships.

In the nearby Philippine Sea, some 2,200 Marines are embarked aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard and two escorts. The Marines are equipped with amphibious assault vehicles, light armored vehicles, artillery, helicopters and Harrier fighter jets.

Carrier groups and Marine task forces often operate alone, so the convergence of the three groups in a relatively small part of the Pacific represents an unusual concentration of firepower. All three are fresh from training exercises in and around Guam. Those exercises included live-fire with missiles and joint beach landings by U.S. Marines and Japanese ground troops.

A spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command says the training missions and carrier deployments are not necessarily related to the Senkaku tensions.  The islands are called Diaoyu in China, and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan.

“These operations are not tied to any specific event,” said Capt. Darryn James, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu.  “As part of the U.S. commitment to regional security, two of the Navy’s 11 global force carrier strike groups are operating in the Western Pacific to help safeguard stability and peace.”

In truth, the carrier and Marine deployments may have as much to do with the “re-balancing” of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region, and with an unrelated crisis in the Middle East, as with the squabble in the East China Sea.

The George Washington battle group and the Marine task force, both based in Japan, were scheduled to conduct separate but overlapping exercises in the Guam region well before the Senkaku dispute heated up. Guam and nearby Tinian Island have been tabbed as a hub for the “re-balancing” of U.S. forces in the region — a hedge against China’s growing military power and ambitions in the region.

The Stennis is being sent from its homeport in Washington state to the Persian Gulf, four months ahead of schedule in response to the escalating crisis over Iran’s nuclear program. The Guam exercises allowed the Stennis to grab a few days of extra training with the George Washington group en route. The Senkakus are situated close to the major sea routes from Pacific to Mideast; it is unclear if the Stennis group is simply passing, by or will remain awhile.

The Marines, meanwhile, were expected to move from Guam to the Philippines for previously scheduled training with the Philippines military.

Navy spokesman James said he could not comment on future ship movements.

Although significant oil and gas deposits may exist within the islands’ territorial waters or exclusive economic zone, the Senkaku dispute has centered largely on old grievances and resurgent nationalism. U.S. officials have privately expressed frustration with the lack of diplomatic progress in resolving the dispute. China placed two-page ads in major U.S. newspapers this weekend, accusing Japan of “stealing” the islands and citing claims that date back hundreds of years.

The Senkakus are located about 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Taiwan and about 200 miles (320 km) east of the Chinese mainland.

While the big U.S. fleet might have been intended as a warning to China not to escalate the islands dispute, it may have been intended to focus Japan’s attention, as well.

Or, it could have been a coincidence.


mhaha the point is that we can talk like if we even know a tiny but   of the real game strategy....WE are just the working CLOWNS     we like shooting the whole shit to million piece and we love POWER   and show my big bicep-pose ........but we like also to believe our MISLEADERS  and we still vote for them ...while we BEND  OVER  and take that western human clownsundrome freedumnb and hypocracy ...we are just the working bes  and are not thye greay allied  we are the western children of the great eceiver ...stop being a rotten piece of shit and be a man and say we are the    filty consumers that were liars   and are gonna destroy instead of helping ...and our children are not getting any fututrre   WE as the parants that give them the BLACK future    we whanted mi hope that every parant   hear their loved  ones scream , and see and smel their kids burn before our own eyes ..=just the fate as i have to face =  dont aspect jesus is saving any rotten trathor ..,.and hell is our place to be             


The US has been responsible for the defense of Japan since the international community, including China, made a decision (at the end of WWII) that the Japanese would not be permitted to re-militarize.   Therefore, the presence of American ships near Japan should be surprising to no one.  China can get all huffy about it if it wants to but would it prefer a super-armed Japan?  In reality, if the Japanese wanted to, they could have the most dominant navy and air force of any country in the region.


In the 1980s China publicly "stated/asked" the USA if we were willing to lose Los Angeles to nuclear bombardment if we militarily defended Taiwan.

Sure... it may not have been an actual threat but I fear corporate USA and the lackey politicians of the USA ruling-elite masters would too readily lose any number of USA common folk's lives to preserve the wealth flow from Taiwan to the USA upper-crust pockets. 


We should focus all our concentration on peace and self defense.  China's defenses were purely placed on missile defenses and offense. They (China) have 3000+ nuclear warheards and hydrogen bombs. But I think there is a lot of room for peace and we (US and NATO) should be on it while safe guarding our defenses, praying for peace and safe guarding the defenses of our allies. A conflict with China could ignite a WWIII and I think they (China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, Valenzuela , Cuba and their other allies) are prepared for that. I did my research on their defenses (China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, Valenzuela , Cuba and their other allies). Weather they are ready and planning for it (WWIII), we will never know until it happens. China and North Korea openly acknowledging their readiness for WWIII on public in the past. The best things are to be prepared for it, try diplomacy, peace first and pray hard.

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor

Chicoms are disgusting and the US navy will beat the shit out of them if they attack our allies. Bank on it.


InquiringMind: "....China is not interested to include Vietnam into their federation...." lol. Of course Vietnam is not part of China Federation. Millions of Chinese ancestors and soldiers died in Vietnam during their many pathetic, failed attempts to invade Vietnam centuries over centuries. We kicked your behinds back behind the Northern borders. 

You don't want Vietnam to be part of China Federation because you died trying to invade her and failed, not because you don't want to. Are you saying Tibetans want to be part of China Federation? lol Please don't insult our intelligence! Do you think you are talking to Chinese Communist robots?


How soon people forget who helped them from being extreminated in WW2,

but i guess hows that different from the French forgetting they were saved TWICE.

The US is not bullying, and never has,we have tried to help the people who were/are being stepped on by the power hungry dictators, hell bent on stomping on the ones who cannot defend themselves.

Nationalism is fine , we have it too, just don't take to extremeism.

Comment all you like I will not get into a tit for tat battle with any of you,

these words I type are my opinions, of how I view history.

The chinese may have a valid argument about who owns the islands in dispute, however going to war over it is absured, especilly when China and Russia, always use their veto powers by saying all conflicts should be setteled by talk and diplomatic means.

Lets keep it that way.

And read the article, these ship movements were planned way before the island dispute came about.

Please calm down your nationalism.


 Same old cowardly, greedy third world countries (Philippine, Vietnam) propaganda, don't shoot me while I am stealing from you!

Same old offered no facts, dancing around the topic with name calling is not amusing anymore!


One thing is for sure CHINA can go away or bully smaller less economic nation such as Philippines and Vietnam but they cannot push major power like Japan. Chinese goverment knows that Japan can and will fight if it will be force to fight. China has no balls against China. Now they are asking the help of the UN to solve the problem through UNCLOS, when in terms of their despute with other ASEAN nation they wanted it to be between them and the enggaged party only.


China is pushing over the hill Japan and that is why Japan is crying to U.S. for help.

All those cowardly, greedy third world countries (Philippine, Vietnam, etc.) are spreading their propaganda, don't shoot me while I am stealing from you.

UNCLOS is basing on existing territories and it is not a license to steal from your neighbors.

That is why backer (U.S.) for those cowardly, greedy, third world countries did not signed UNCLOS.

Or Alaska will belonged to Canada.

Florida will be a part of Cuba.

U.S. will lost all U.S. held islands, including Hawaii.

You are talking about taking feathers from the eagle now!.

Keep dreaming!

This is the age of internet search and one quick search came the following,

The Treaty of Paris of 1898

The Cession Treaty of 1900

The Boundaries Treaty of 1930

Philippine's territories were defined by it's two former colonial masters (U.S. and Spain) and didn't included those islands belonged to China and illegally occupied by Greedy and crying wolf Philippine.

To add insult to injury, U.S. was the colonial master that had defined Philippine's territories and out of all people should has known what are Philippine's territories.

Before those greedy, wolf crying Philippine is crying again, should check with it's former colonial master where are the Philippine territories before Philippine was running out to steal China nature resources.

Vietnam was China's former colony.

China had signed Vietnam over to France.

Vietnam became France's colony.

There was no Vietnam territories, only China territories.

China had defeated Vietnam in two sea battles in last century.

Vietnam is kept coming back for more beatings.


Same old offered no fact, dancing around the topic with name callings are not  amusing anymore.

The sacrasm is you are using China made PC to post your delusional messages on internet.

How pathetic can you get?


UNCLOS is based on existing territories. It does not give Vietnam a license to steal from China.

Even Vietnam new backer, U.S. did not signed UNCLOS.

Or Alaska will belonged to Canada.

Florida will be part of Cuba.

Vietnam's territories were defined by China before China signed Vietnam over to France.

Vietnam was China's colony for hundreds of years.

China sure know where were Vietnam's territories.


My bad, 6 kilo submarines will be toasted too.

China had built improved and updated version of kilo submarnes.

China had built improved and updated version of Su30s and Su27s and S300s.

Vietnam will be using outdated weapons to match China's newly improved and updated version of similar weapons.

Vietnam should ask Russians for refunds for those outdated weapons after China had trashed them.


China is not interested to take Vietnam back as colony again.

Once was enough and that was why China had signed Vietnam over to France.

China had let France had fun with Vietnamese.

France's greatest achievemnet was created a westernize version of single word Chinese language for Vietnam.

After China had defeated Vietnam in two sea battles in last century, Vietnam is begging for more beatings.

The next Vietnam beatings will cost dearly to Vietnam.

China had trashed Vietnam for hundreds years before.

China had trashed Vietnam twice in last century.

China will trash Vietnam in this century.

Vietnam should say goodbye to 4 Russian light Frigets, about 30+ Su30s and Su27s and Russians guided missiles.

All those Russian arms had costed Vietnam's arms and leggs.

Vincent Lovece
Vincent Lovece

Your bad English and uncritical support of China reveal you to be a Chinese propaganda agent who has been ordered to post on So, tell us, what is it like to have no freedom whatsoever?


"There is no Vietnam Territories....China terriroties..."  Inquiringmind, you sound like a true Chinese commy who lives under a China rock! 

lol. If it were your territories, then come and get it and see what will happen! Your ancestors tried to hang on to Vietnam by their finger nails and ended up running back up north for centuries! Pretty loud mouth for a bunch of cowards!


When i was on the G-Dub almost three years ago we went out to sea during the summer months on 3 month deploys. This is strange though. 


Do talking  to Taiwan about infamous U.S. mutual defense pact.

It is worthed lesser than the paper which it was written on.

Do talking to Taiwan about U.S. favor subject UNCLOS.

Both U.S. mutual defense pact and UNCLOS were not worthed to mention when comes to Taiwan.

What kind of Ally is U.S. to Taiwan anyway.

Taiwan is only good for to buy expensive arms from U.S.

How can U.S. ever can keep a straight face to the world with it's double talks and phony sincerity!! 


lol. The international communities recognize UNCLOS and live peacefully by it. So did China until recently. Now, China is trying to steal natural resources from its neighboring countries. Please do not insult our intelligence!


 According to UNCLOS,  Diaoyu islands should be a part of Taiwan without any question.

"The international communities recognize UNCLOS and live peacefully by it"

This time, you had totally ignored your own statement above, dancing around the topic again with name calling is still not amusing!


The point of contention is about  Cairo Declaration (11/27/1943) and Potsdam Declaration (7/26/1945) which signed by U.S., Japan and Allied Nations and specified Japanese unconditional surrender,

"all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China"

"Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku"

U.N. had appointed U.S. as care taker for Diaoyu and Ryukyu islands.

U.S. had given away something it didn't owned!


Most so called anti-China internet posters had offered no facts, dancing around the topics with name calling and is not amusing anymore!


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