The situation in the South China Sea has been developing in favor of China, said Chinese observers after media reported that China is conducting naval drills in the region, at the same time as "three US carrier battle groups passed by" the area.
"The regional strategic situation is tipping to China's side in the South China Sea, especially after China's construction of islands and reefs," Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times on Sunday.
China has strengthened its facilities in the region and conducted negotiations and cooperation on the South China Sea, which have narrowed China's gap in power with the US, while gaining advantages over Japan and India, according to Chen.
"The US has three aircraft carrier battle groups converging on the contested waterway for its own exercises" in the South China Sea, news.com.au reported Friday.
A total of 58 naval vessels, including three aircraft carrier battle groups, were located around the South China Sea, a report on April 2 of the United States Naval Institute, a US-based NGO showed.
"The US, in stationing military forces around the South China Sea, is attempting to intimidate," Chen noted.
But it is also conducting reconnaissance in the region to ram the point home that it is there, Chen said.
"It [the US] is targeting China, which is bringing challenges to China's rights in the area, regional management and security," he noted.
Hainan Maritime Safety Administration announced on March 30 that China would conduct naval drills in the South China Sea from Thursday to Wednesday.
Reuters reported that according to satellite images, some 40 ships and submarines flanking the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning have entered the South China Sea.
"The drills are a necessary show of China's military power and strength," Chen said.
"China has the determination and capability to maintain its interests in the region, as well as regional peace and stability."