by WorldTribune Staff, November 1, 2017
Chinese warplanes are testing U.S. air defense identification zones and have flown bombers near the U.S. territory of Guam, U.S. military officials said, according to an Oct. 31 report by Defense News.
Chinese H-6K “Badger” bombers upgraded with 1,000-mile-range air launched cruise missiles are “practicing attacks on Guam,” the officials said.
The bombers run “not infrequent” flights to get within range of the U.S. territory, the officials said.
Beijing operates a daily, aggressive campaign to contest airspace over the East China Sea, South China Sea and beyond, the officials said, adding that China has also taken several non-military steps that are viewed as attempts to make it much more difficult for the U.S. to operate there and defend allies in the future.
Despite increased threats by North Korea, a conflict with the rogue regime of Kim Jong-Un is still viewed as “a fight we can win,” the officials said. With China, they said they “worry about the way things are going.”
China “is very much the long-term challenge in the region,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. “When we look at the capabilities China is developing, we’ve got to make sure we maintain the ability to meet our alliance commitments in the Pacific.”
“There are some who try to create a narrative that we are not in the Pacific to stay,” Dunford said. “Our message is that we are a Pacific power. We intend to stay in the Pacific. Our future economic prosperity is inextricably linked to our security and political relationships in the region.”
President Donald Trump will visit the Pacific region later this week, making stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.