WASHINGTON (AP) — Three American aircraft carriers are patrolling the Indo-Pacific waters.

It's a massive show of naval force in a region roiled by spiking tensions between the U.S. and China and a sign that the Navy has bounced back from the worst days of the coronavirus outbreak.

It's the first time in nearly three years that three of the carrier strike groups have been in the Pacific at once.

The unusual simultaneous appearance of the three warships comes as the U.S. escalates criticism of Beijing’s response to the pandemic, its moves to impose greater control over Hong Kong and its campaign to militarize human-made islands in the South China Sea.

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