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US moves carriers as tension rises (2)

By Li Ying (Global Times)

08:22, January 13, 2012

"We know the carriers tour and shift routinely; however, Washington definitely has to plan when, where and how to perform the routines. The Carl Vinson has arrived but the Stennis still stays,” Meng said. ”Especially, the shift in the powerful US naval assets comes at a moment of heightened tensions with Iran, which has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz.”

"What the US is trying to express is that it is ready to halt any blockade of the strategic strait by military means, and it would be able to offer protection to its allies in the region,” Meng said.

Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s tour in Asia has won his country more support for sanctions on Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

Japan pledged yesterday to take concrete action to cut Iranian oil imports in response to an appeal for support from visiting Geithner.

"We would like to take action concretely to further reduce (that) in a planned manner,” Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said after meeting Geithner, Reuters reported.

South Korea will also ask for cooperation from Washington to minimize fallouts from US sanctions when a US delegation visits Seoul next week, the South Korean foreign ministry said yesterday.

"US unilateral sanctions are actually pressuring nations worldwide, especially on it allies. Despite that some of them will seek a waiver, all the reductions added together still destabilize the country’s oil-dependent economy, ”Gao Zugui, director of the Institute of World Politics at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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