US Navy ships to replace Australian ships in waters near Papua New Guinea

By Mark Evans, Associated PressPosted May 07, 2018 07:02:22US Navy ships will be moving into the northern part of Papua New Guinean waters near the island of Manus to replace Australia’s fleet of about 100 warships, the Navy said in a statement.USN ships will also join Australia’s ships, and will take part in routine training exercises with other countries.

The move comes amid a growing security standoff between the United States and China in the disputed South China Sea, where Beijing has been building up military capabilities in the contested waters.

The Pacific Fleet is the only U.S. ship deployed in the region.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously last month to extend a deadline for China to take concrete steps to end its blockade of the South China sea, but Beijing has resisted.

China and the United Kingdom have accused each other of carrying out air and naval operations in the South and East China Seas in violation of international law.