`The corvette HMAS Parramatta and the US destroyer USS Barry participated in joint exercises in the East Sea with the amphibious ship USS America and the cruiser USS Bunker Hill to strengthen coordination between the two navies. The warships

The US Pacific Fleet Command said on April 21 that its warships and Australian corvettes began joint exercises in the East Sea from April 13.

Joint operations between US warships and HMAS Parramatta included live-fire exercises, helicopter operations, guard boat formation exercises and command and control coordination.

`We look forward to every opportunity to cooperate with our Australian allies at sea,` said Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, commander of the US Expeditionary Strike Group.

The Pentagon yesterday announced that the USS America and USS Bunker Hill were deployed and operating in the East Sea, but did not give specific locations.

Australian corvette (left) and three US warships in the East Sea on April 18.

Data on the maritime tracking site Marine Traffic on the morning of April 22 showed that the Haiyang Dizhi 8 Geological Ship and an escorting Coast Guard ship moved about 325 km from the Malaysian coast.

China and Malaysia have not commented on this information.

Reuters on April 17 quoted three sources as saying that the Haiyang Dizhi 8 Geological Ship escorted by many ships followed the Malaysian drilling ship West Capella operating in the East Sea.

Washington accuses Beijing of taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic raging globally to promote its presence in the East Sea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian previously said that the Haiyang Dizhi 8 geological ship was carrying out `normal activities` and said that US officials were `smearing Beijing` with the East Sea issue.

The Hai Duong 8 Geological Ship and Chinese escort ships violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the south of the East Sea in early July 2019, then left at the end of October 2019.

Vietnam has repeatedly protested the activities of the above-mentioned group of Chinese ships, affirming that the area in the south of the East Sea is not a disputed area.