The United States flew a B-52 Stratofortress bomber over the contested South China Sea on Tuesday, as China continues to aggressively pursue its territorial claims in the region.
The U.S. Pacific Air Forces, who oversee air operations in the region, said in a statement that the show of strength formed part of “routine training missions” in coordination with Japan.
The Twitter account Aircraft Spots tracked the flight on its journey Guam to the South China Sea west of the Philippines.
USAF B-52H TOXIN02 departed Andersen AFB, Guam–flew into the South China Sea near the Philippines, now returning to Guam.
USAF KC-135R 58-0123 BAKED21 provided tanker support from Kadena AB, Okinawa. pic.twitter.com/dlxmZlCnyz
— Aircraft Spots (@AircraftSpots) 5 March 2019
Over recent years, China has aggressively expanded operations of its naval and coast guard forces in an attempt to stake their claim on the territory, deploying weaponry including anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and electronic jammers.