The Secretary of United States Department of Defense, also known as Pentagon, Ash Carter visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt while the vessel is sailing in West Philippine Sea November 5, 2015. Carter also expressed concern about China’s activities in those waters.
He said USS Theodore Roosevelt is a “symbol and a sign of the critical role the United States’ military power plays in what is a very consequential region for the American future.”
“There is a lot of concern about Chinese behavior out here,” Carter said as quoted in the official website of US Pacific Command. Those concerns, Carter said, were discussed at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 4.
“Many countries in the region are coming to the United States and asking us to do more with them so that we can keep the peace out here,” he added.
Secretary Carter noted that stability in the Asia-Pacific region is important to the United States economically adding that half of the world’s commerce comes from or passes through this part of the world.
USS Roosevelt is currently operating in the US 7th Fleet area of operations as part of its worldwide deployment en route to its new homeport in San Diego, California.
The Chinese government made no opposition on the said visit of Carter to USS Roosevelt. “As long as it is the genuine practice of navigation freedom through real international shipping lanes, we will in no way oppose it,” China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
“What we are against is the attempt to militarize the South China Sea and even challenge and threaten other countries’ sovereignty and security interests under the name of navigation freedom,” she added.