China has 'simulated attacking Guam', US officials have revealed
North Korea had previously threatened to attack the island territory of Guam itself.
But while Kim Jong-un’s sabre-rattling threats appear to have fizzled away to nothing, China is continuing to provoke America in the Pacific.
US officials revealed today Chinese bombers have been simulating attacks on Guam as part of a series of aggressive, daily operations.
The officials spoke to reporters travelling with the Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, General Joseph Dunford.
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A Chinese warship operates a live-fire drill during the Joint Sea 2017 in Baltic Sea
The People’s Republic of China is practicing attacks on Guam.
They said they were confident the conflict with North Korea was “a fight we can win” but said with China they “worry about the way things are going”.
One official said: “The People’s Republic of China is practicing attacks on Guam.
“China is very much the long-term challenge in the region.
“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.”
The officials said these sorties were attempts by China to re-enforce its claims huge swathes of the South China Sea, including a string of disputed islands.
One said China had even taken control of 150,000 fishing vessels in the region, instructing them to ram Vietnamese boats – on occasion sinking them.
And bombers now frequently storm through the area, an attempt to “win without fighting” control of the region.
Kim Jong-un threatened to attack the US island territory of Guam
This has led to an increase in confrontation between Chinese aircraft with those from the USA and Japan.
One official said: “It’s very common for Chinese aircraft to intercept US aircraft.”
He said “armed Chinese Flankers and Japanese aircraft” are now doing into close proximity “on a daily basis”.
General Dunford himself acknowledged the threat posed by China in the region but sent a message of intent to Beijing.
The USA and China's relationship is becoming increasingly strained in the South China Sea
He said: “If we find ourselves in conflict out there we will be under air attack.
“We view ourselves as a Pacific power. There are some who try to create a narrative that we are not in the Pacific to stay.
“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.”