According to this year in review, it appears that China gets the award for the most bizarre behavior by a strategic world power in peacetime. Less than two weeks ago, a Chinese vessel was spotted 150 miles off the western coast of Alaska, assumed to be observing the Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) missile system that was emplaced there.
Also strange was its insistence in protecting the pride of North Korea by stating that it fully stood by Pyongyang. Of course, that was right before it halted all Chinese coal deliveries to North Korea due to UN Security Council sanctions on the North. There have been multiple attempts as well to exert dominance in the South China Sea, where more and more military bases are cropping up or are being shored up there in a bid for military presence.
Regardless of these, there have been a growing number of “near misses” between Chinese fighter jets and American aircraft over the past year, seemingly picking up steam lately as tensions between North Korea and the United States have increased. Just this week, two J-10 Chinese fighter jets buzzed a naval aircraft over the China East Sea. This was strange because it occurred over international waters.
The Daily Caller:
Chinese fighters intercepted a U.S. Navy spy plane Sunday, according to U.S. defense officials.
Two J-10 fighter jets buzzed a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft in the East China Sea, Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told The Daily Caller New Foundation. The U.S. aircraft was operating in international airspace at the time of the intercept, which the air crew deemed “unsafe and unprofessional.
Despite China’s actions, U.S. operations were able to continue unimpeded.
The number of Chinese intercepts have been on the rise since last year, as China moves to assert its dominance in its region.
The fact that these incidents are taking place with more frequency is due directly to the increased presence of the U.S. naval fleet in those waters because of the tensions between North Korea and the U.S. Along with the American military, the Japanese have also been quite active, which is considered another provocative move on the part of the coalition forces.
If North Korea ends up causing an international incident because of its rash decisions, China may find itself in the unenviable position of severing ties with the rogue nation and bowing out gracefully from intervening on their behalf. Time will tell.
Source: The Daily Caller