China is keeping a close watch on a nuclear-powered American aircraft carrier's passage to the Philippines through the contested waters in the South China Sea, over which Beijing is locked in a dispute with Manila and several other Asian nations.
Chinese state TV reported USS George Washington would pass through the "Huangyan islands", also claimed by the Philippines as Scarborough Shoal, while analysts expressed concern over the US nuclear powered super carrier passing through "Chinese waters".
The ship is set to arrive at Manila on October 24 according to official announcement.
Analysts appearing on CCTV said it was a show of muscle flexing by the US and more of its carrier were expected to be deployed in the South China Sea and East China Sea of the Pacific Ocean where China has maritime disputes with a host of countries, including Japan.
China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have claims to the South China Sea islands and waters which are believed to be rich in gas and oil and straddle busy shipping routes.
Washington would arriving in Manila just as China and the Philippines tried to scale down the tensions sparked off by confrontationist postures by its navies near the disputed islands two months ago.
The tensions hurt the bilateral trade badly and the two countries started holding talks to normalise the relations.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying visited Manila two days ago and held talks with the Philippine officials to improve relations.