BEIJING – The U.S. Pacific Air Forces says a pair of B-52 bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea this week, days before a U.S. aircraft carrier's scheduled arrival in Hong Kong.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its battle group are due to dock in Hong Kong on Wednesday after China rejected a similar request earlier amid tensions between their militaries.
China has demanded the U.S. cease military activity of all kind near its South China Sea island claims that it has been rapidly fortifying.
In late September, a Chinese destroyer came close to the USS Decatur in the South China Sea in what the U.S. Navy called an "unsafe and unprofessional maneuver.
A statement Wednesday called the bombers' flight on Monday a "routine training mission."