China’s massive Pacific air force drill just the start of even bigger shows of might against US, experts predict

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A state media photo shows a Chinese Su-30 fighter (right) flying with a H-6K bomber as they take part in a drill near the East China Sea on Sunday. Photo: Xinhua

 

Long-range drills and patrols the Chinese military held in the Western Pacific on Sunday demonstrated the nation’s ability to counter US interference in the South China Sea issues, Chinese military experts have said.

The unprecedented exercise involved more than 40 aircraft from different aviation teams, indicating the air force would join with the navy, rocket forces or other military arms to conduct additional large joint operational exercises in the region in the future, they added.

Air force spokesman Shen Jinke said H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters and air tankers conducted reconnaissance and early warning drills, simulated attacks on sea targets, and carried out in-flight refuelling. Continue reading

Great powers manoeuvre in Asia

Consider the territorial disputes roiling the Indian Ocean and other East Asian regions, sparked by China’s repeated _ and increasingly assertive _ efforts to claim sovereignty over vast maritime areas. As China’s incursions reignite long-smouldering disagreements and threaten to destabile [sic] the regional status quo, countries throughout Asia are reconsidering their strategic positions.

For example, the Philippines is revamping its security strategy by enhancing cooperation with the United States _ China’s counterweight in the region _ only two decades after it closed two major American military installations, the naval base at Subic Bay and Clark Air Base. Vietnam, too, has strengthened its ties with the US. And, after decades of absence, America has resumed training programmes for Indonesia’s military. Continue reading