'Let us meet in the sky': China boasts US Air Force should fear new arsenal

·2 min read

America should fear China's growing military might, a senior Chinese air force official boasted, ominously inviting his U.S. counterparts to a meeting "in the sky."

The grim warning from People’s Liberation Army Deputy Air Force Commander Wang Wei was in apparent response to U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall’s pledge last month to develop weapons that “scare China.” Wang said China, which is becoming increasingly belligerent in the Indo-Pacific region, is rolling out fearsome weapons of its own.

“I can only say, if they are not scared, let us meet in the sky,” Wang said at a recent air show.

Wang's boast extended from his own military branch to China's navy.

“The Chinese navy is capable and confident to ensure national security and defend integrity, as well as make a contribution to world peace,” said Wang, who referred to Kendall only as “a counterpart of mine who is from a major country.”

What China considers defense of territorial integrity represents a substantial threat to the security of U.S. forces and Indo-Pacific allies, especially Taiwan. Beijing regards the island democracy as sovereign Chinese territory, but the United States and its allies see it as a strategic link in a chain of democracies that limit China’s ability to threaten its neighbors.

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“I’ve been obsessed, if you will, with China for quite a long time now — and its military modernization, what that implies for the U.S. and for security,” Kendall said last month in a Defense News interview. “They’re moving faster than I might have anticipated. So, we have a lot of work to do.”

U.S. and European allies have increased their deployment of naval forces in the Indo-Pacific region. And a landmark deal to provide U.S. and British nuclear submarine technology to Australia includes a broader plan to expand the U.S. military presence in Australia.

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“Often, you’re going to get quicker with bilateral, trilateral relationships than you are necessarily trying to maneuver very large alliances into place,” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday at a Center for European Policy Analysis forum. “I think being nimble gives you an upper hand, and therefore joining with more nimble countries who share the same threat is actually going to be part of the future.”

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Tags: News, Foreign Policy, National Security, China, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Australia

Original Author: Joel Gehrke

Original Location: 'Let us meet in the sky': China boasts US Air Force should fear new arsenal

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