3 U.S. carrier visits to Philippines show America cares – envoy


The carrier visits show ‘we care about developments in the

South China Sea,’ says US Ambassador Sung Kim as America celebrates its 242nd Independence Day

MANILA, Philippines – The 3 visits of US aircraft carriers to the Philippines this year show that America cares about the disputed South China Sea, said US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim as America celebrated its Independence Day.

“I will note that just this year, we’ve had these 3 visits by US carriers, and I think that sends an important signal that we care about developments in this region, we care about developments in the South China Sea,” Kim said in an interview with reporters Tuesday evening, July 3.

Kim was referring to aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson that visited the Philippines in February, aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt that docked in April, and nuclear-powered super carrier USS Ronald Reagan that arrived in June.

Seen as a show of force, these visits come as the US vows to uphold freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as China militarizes these waters. (READ: Why the US will fight for ‘freedom of navigation’ in the South China Sea)

Kim made his recent comments at the US embassy’s reception at Makati Shangri-La, Manila, to celebrate America’s 242nd Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4. (READ: US and Philippines: Friends, partners, and allies)

International law, freedom of navigation

In his interview with reporters, Kim stressed that the South China Sea situation “is obviously complicated,” but the US position “has been very clear” and is not expected to change.