The South China Sea has been a hotbed of naval activity this week as a British aircraft carrier strike group, an American surface action group, and forces from China’s People’s Liberation Army have all staged exercises in the contested waterway.

The British Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has been the center of attention, with state-run Chinese media outlets and diplomats accusing Britain of stirring up trouble in the disputed waters of the South China Sea at the behest of the United States.

Britain has not officially acknowledged the presence of its Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China as it’s sovereign territory, but a series of photos posted on the US Navy’s website showing US Marine Corps jets involved in operations off the UK carrier were posted this week with the dateline of the South China Sea.

“A free and open Indo-Pacific region that is peaceful and stable is vital to ensuring greater prosperity for the region and the world,” the photo captions said.

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