(ANTIMEDIA) — According to Defense News, China has been practicing bombing runs targeting the U.S. territory of Guam, the same U.S. military base North Korea threatened earlier this year. According to U.S. officials, the bombers are nuclear-capable.
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One cannot help but notice that the level of publicity this development has gotten in the mainstream media is somewhat lacking compared to every single movement the North Korean regime has made.
As Defense News notes, China’s actions have been alarming U.S. officials for some time now:
“Beyond the well-publicized military build up on man-made islands in the South China Sea, China has built up its fleet of fighters to the extent that it operates a daily, aggressive campaign to contest airspace over the East China Sea, South China Sea and beyond, U.S. military officials in the region said. China has also taken several other 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.”
Unsurprisingly, U.S. officials have warned against China’s bombing runs — which are allegedly aimed at Hawaii, as well — saying they are not in “China’s interest.” According to Defense News, the officials described China’s behavior in a briefing they provided to reporters traveling with chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.
“There are some who try to create a narrative that we are not in the Pacific to stay,” General Dunsford reportedly 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.”
The officials also said that despite the alleged threat held by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, a conflict with North Korea is still viewed as “a fight we can win.” Comparatively, with China, the officials said they “worry about the way things are going.”
“It’s very common for PRC [People’s Republic of China] aircraft to intercept U.S. aircraft” these days, the officials also said, indicating the intense nature of U.S.-China rivalry in the region.
Overall, U.S. officials are becoming increasingly worried about China’s expansion. As Defense News explained:
“There are other pressures. For example, the officials said they estimate the People’s Liberation Army Navy has placed as many as 150,000 Chinese commercial fishing vessels under its direction, even though they are not official Chinese navy. The Chinese fishing vessels make coordinated attacks on Vietnamese fishermen, the officials said, ramming and sometimes sinking boats near the Paracel Islands. China took the territory from Vietnam in the 1970s and has militarized some of the islands. The area remains a traditional fishing area for the Vietnamese.”
While U.S. officials will be planning how to respond to and counter China in the meantime, one should bear in mind that President Trump is days away from visiting China himself and will undoubtedly be looking to exert some pressure on his Chinese counterpart in light of these dramatic developments.