All eyes are on Israel and Hamas. But America’s biggest enemy is making moves you aren’t seeing.
And Biden’s Department of Defense revealed a terrifying Chinese plot for America.
According to the Pentagon, US military aircraft have had over 180 dangerous mid-air contacts with Chinese jets since 2021, which is more than in the previous two decades.
A Pentagon official described recent encounters between American planes in the East and South China Seas and fighter jets from China’s People’s Liberation Army as a “centralized and concerted campaign” by China to “coerce a change in lawful US operational activity” through “risky behaviors.”
“That’s nearly 200 cases where PLA operators have performed reckless maneuvers or discharged chaff or shot off flares or approached too rapidly or too close to US aircraft,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Dr. Ely Ratner said at a press conference Tuesday.
“All as part of trying to interfere with the ability of US forces to operate safely in places where we and every country in the world have every right to be under international law,” said Ratner.
When Chinese fighter jets collided with US ally and partner aircraft, the frequency of “coercive and risky PLA intercepts” increased to about 300 cases since 2021, according to Ratner.
The deadly Chinese intercepts, according to a senior Pentagon official, “put lives at risk – the lives of our service members, the lives of our allies and partners’ service members, and even the lives of PLA operators.”
The Department of Defense published a collection of unclassified photographs and video on Tuesday depicting dozens of these recent, high-speed aerial engagements.
A PLA fighter jet is shown rushing across the front of a US plane in one video, causing the American plane to tremble as it flies through the PLA jet’s wake turbulence on May 25.
A video from June 2022 shows a PLA fighter jet flying within 40 feet of a US plane over the South China Sea, repeatedly flying above and below the US plane and “flashing its weapons,” according to the Pentagon.
“After the US operator radioed the PLA fighter jet, the PLA pilot responded using explicit language, including an expletive,” the Pentagon notes.
“The bottom line is that in many cases, this type of operational behavior can cause accidents and dangerous accidents can lead to inadvertent conflict,” Ratner said, explaining that the encounters can last for more than 15 minutes, occur at hundreds of miles per hour, and that the armed Chinese jets sometimes come within 20 feet of US and ally planes.
Ratner was particularly concerned that the “disturbing” behavior was continuing “at a time when the [People’s Republic of China] has declined our invitations to open lines of military-to-military communication at the highest levels.”
The communication breakdown is the result of the US military shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina in February, after the craft had flown across the whole continental US, including over important US military sites.
The chief of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Navy Adm. John C. Aquilino, noted Tuesday that “intercepts happen every day around the world,” but they are different when China conducts them against US planes.
“The vast majority are conducted safely and without incident and there’s no reasons for the intercepts with the PRC in the Indo-Pacific region to be any different,” Aquilino said.
“As the Joint Force Commander, I’m most concerned about the potential for accidents,” he added.
Despite the PLA’s efforts, Ratner stressed that the US will continue to fly over the East and South China Seas.
“The United States will not be deterred or coerced,” Ratner said.
“We will continue to fly, sail, and operate safely and responsibly wherever international law allows. Our forces have helped sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific for decades. And we will continue to do so every day.”
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