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China acted provocatively to the US Air Force in Pacific airspace

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Chức năng bình luận bị tắt ở China acted provocatively to the US Air Force in Pacific airspace

Ely Ratner, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, disclosed that the United States has witnessed a significant surge in instances of “coercive and risky” behavior by Chinese pilots against US aircraft over the East and South China Seas in the last two years. Ratner stated that since the fall of 2021 alone, there have been over 180 such incidents, surpassing the total number over the previous decade.

In an effort to highlight this concerning pattern, the Pentagon released previously undisclosed photos and videos capturing Chinese fighter jets intercepting US aircraft flying in international airspace. These visual records, dating back to January 2022, exhibit Chinese fighter jets dangerously approaching US military jets, with the aim of “intimidating” them, as explained by the Pentagon. Some of these encounters saw Chinese fighter jets come within a mere 20 feet of the US planes, as evident in the videos.

Ratner emphasized that this behavior constitutes a deliberate and coordinated campaign orchestrated by China to coerce the United States into altering its lawful operational activities. One particular photo from August 10 exemplifies a Chinese fighter jet closing in on a US jet, forcing it to execute defensive maneuvers to evade the Chinese aircraft, which came within 50 feet of the US plane before executing a “barrel roll” underneath it, according to the Pentagon’s statement.

The images and videos also reveal Chinese jets releasing objects and projectiles, including flares, further intensifying the situation. Admiral John Aquilino, the INDOPACOM commander, asserted on Tuesday that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has repeatedly expressed concerns about this behavior, calling on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to put an immediate stop to it.

The Pentagon’s attempts to engage with the Chinese military leadership this year have, however, remained unanswered, leading to growing apprehension among US officials regarding the absence of military-to-military dialogue between the two countries. Chinese leaders severed communications following a visit made by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last year, which caused significant displeasure within China.

Aquilino highlighted that despite requesting multiple times over the past two and a half years to speak with his Chinese counterparts, namely the eastern and southern theater commanders, none of these requests have been accepted.

As the Pentagon prepares to release its congressionally mandated 2023 “Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China,” also known as the China Military Power Report, the disclosure of these photos and videos adds to the growing concerns. This annual report provides an assessment of the latest developments in China’s rapidly expanding and modernizing military and offers essential ins .

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