Thu, 06 May 2021

Washington DC [US], April 11 (ANI): Amid the rising tension between the United States and China, the US military has engaged in a form of "cognitive warfare" following the recent encounter between its warships and the Chinese navy.

Both the countries deployed aircraft carrier strike groups to the East and South China Seas, Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

The US released a photo on Sunday that showed one of its guided-missile destroyers shadowing the Chinese aircraft carrier strike groups- a move that experts believe was designed to send a clear message to Beijing.

"In the photo, Commander Briggs looks very relaxed with his feet up watching the Liaoning ship just a few thousand yards away, while his deputy is also sitting beside him, showing they take their PLA counterparts lightly," said Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at Taiwan's Naval Academy in Kaohsiung.

"This staged photograph is definitely 'cognitive warfare' to show the US doesn't regard the PLA as an immediate threat," Lu added.

The photo indicated that the US warship kept a "very safe distance" while shadowing the Chinese strike groups, said Zhou Chenming, a researcher with the Yuan Wang think tank, a Beijing-based military science and technology institute.

"Both sides understand that there is a big gap between the US and Chinese aircraft carrier strike groups," Zhou said.

Another expert from a Canada-based Kanwa Defence Review said the photo was a "warning to the PLA" that the US was thoroughly informed about the Liaoning strike group, as quoted by South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with the Philippines Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday and reaffirmed their shared commitment to the US-Philippines alliance amid tensions with China.

Secretaries Austin and Lorenzana discussed the situation in the South China Sea, and the recent massing of China maritime militia vessels at Whitsun Reef.

"Secretary Austin reiterated the US.commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, rooted in international law, including the U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Secretary proposed several measures to deepen defense cooperation between the United States and the Philippines, including by enhancing situational awareness of threats in the South China Sea," a Pentagon statement said.

Philippines has threatened to expel a Chinese diplomatic spokesperson in Manila in the latest twist of an intensifying row with Beijing over territory in the South China Sea.

The Asia-Pacific region features several territorial disputes in the South China and East China seas which involve Brunei, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Beijing claims most of the region. (ANI)

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