The United States is enhancing its nuclear strike capability at Guam for a potential confrontation against China in the Far East, the Tokyo-based Sankei Shimbun reported on July 30.
General John M Paxton Jr, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said at a Navy hearing that the US military forces in Japan are improving their capability to launch amphibious operations against the China coast should conflict break out in the East or South China seas. He said the US Marine Corps has a total of four amphibious assault ships and amphibious transport docks under its command at United States Fleet Activities Sasebo.
Paxton said that with the support of those vessels, the Seventh Fleet of the US Navy is capable of launching a strike against crucial targets on the China coast. Equipped with 36 aircraft including AV-8 Harrier fighters and AH-1W assault helicopters, the USS Essex amphibious assault ship was recently sent to the South China Sea for a joint exercise with the Philippine Navy. Sankei Shimbun said this is a move aimed against Chinese ambitions in the disputed region.
Full article: US enhances nuclear strike capability at Guam: Sankei Shimbun (Want China Times)