Amid heightened tensions with Beijing, US B-52s fly over South China Sea

Amid heightened tensions with Beijing, US B-52s fly over South China Sea
© Getty

U.S. B-52 bombers flew near the South China Sea and East China Sea this week, according to U.S. military officials. 

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn told The Hill Wednesday said the events were routine and "designed to enhance our readiness and interoperability with our partners and allies in the region."

ADVERTISEMENT

"The United States military will continue to fly sail and operate wherever international law allows at a times and places of our choosing," Eastburn said.  

China has not commented on the fly-overs, but have responded to similar exercises defensively. 

After American bombers flew in the region in April, Senior Chinese Col. Wu Qian told reporters, "The [People's Liberation Army] will, as always, firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The bombers' movements come in the midst of tension between the two countries on multiple issues.

On Wednesday, Trump accused China of trying to interfere in the 2018 midterms in his remarks to the United Nations, saying Beijing is frustrated with his aggressive stance on trade.

China denied the charge, claiming it would never interfere in another nation's domestic affairs.

On Tuesday, China warned the U.S. to halt a planned sale of fighter jet parts to Taiwan and blocked a U.S. Navy ship's visit to Hong Kong.

China also announced that they, the E.U., and Russia are working to undermine the U.S.'s sanctions on Iran by creating a mechanism for barter with the country. 

In the background of this week's events, is the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Trump has levied sanctions on hundreds of millions of dollars of Chinese imports, with Beijing responding in kind.