The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS California is photographed during sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean, June 30, 2011. (U.S. Navy/Chris Oxley)

GROTON, Conn. -- Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a month into the job, toured Electric Boat on Tuesday, including a walkthrough of the Navy's newest attack submarine, USS South Dakota, which is undergoing a major upgrade to make the already stealthy submarine even quieter in response to continued advancement by China and Russia in their undersea fleets.

Esper's focus of late has been on China, which is increasingly staking a claim in the Indo-Pacific region, and which recently tested multiple anti-ship ballistic missiles. He told a crowd at the Naval War College in Newport earlier in the day that the Pentagon is looking at ways to increase its presence in the region.

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A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is carrying out "coercive interference" in oil and gas activities in waters claimed by Vietnam, the Pentagon said on Monday, accusing Beijing of using "bullying tactics."

A Chinese survey vessel on Saturday extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam's coastline, ship tracking data showed, after the United States and Australia expressed concern about China's actions in the disputed waterways.

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Soldiers will soon be getting a new deck of playing cards displaying Iranian and Russian weapons systems, because if you're going to waste time playing cards, you might as well learn something useful.

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The U.S. military conducted its first flight test of a conventional ground-launched cruise missile in a test that would have been banned prior to the recent collapse of a Cold War-era nuclear arms agreement.

The missile was launched on Sunday from a testing site on San Nicolas Island in California. "The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight," the Pentagon explained in an emailed statement, adding that "data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities."

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USS Chafee departs Hong Kong on Oct. 6, 2017. ((U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin A. Lewis.)

Geopolitics aside, the ongoing demonstrations by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong against Red China's tyrannical rule have already produced strategic ramifications for U.S. sailors: cancelled liberty.

That's right, the godless communists have cancelled two planned port calls by U.S. Navy ships.

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Marine Corps F-35s recently carried out the first at-sea "hot reload" of ordnance, dropping 1,000-pound bombs in the Pacific in rapid succession, the service said in a statement.

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