Last week, US Marines simulated the seizure of a hostile ship in the South China Sea, in an exercise aimed at Beijing, whose claims to the disputed waters are rejected by Washington.
A press release from the Marines said the USS Germantown posed as a foreign ship that was identified as a non-compliant cargo vessel carrying illicit cargo. Two amphibious ships carried out the simulated mission, and Marines descended onto the hostile ship’s deck from helicopters.
The South China Sea has turned into a major flashpoint between the US and China. The Trump administration recently rejected most of Beijing’s claims to the waters and also sanctioned construction companies involved in projects with China on disputed archipelagos.
The US Navy has drastically increased its activity in the region over the past few months. US aircraft carrier’s conducted drills in the South China Sea throughout the summer, and there has been an uptick in US military aircraft flights over the waters and near China’s coast.