US-China Tensions in the S. China Sea: Nukes, Bombers, and Land-to-Air Missiles

By James Holbrooks

According to a statement released by U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), for the first time ever, all three of the Air Force’s “strategic power projection bombers” — the B-52, the B-1B, and the B-2 — flew in a single formation on Wednesday near the heavily disputed waters of the South China Sea.

After deploying from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the bombers “flew a formation pass,” then dispersed and “simultaneously conducted operations in the South China Sea and Northeast Asia,” according to the statement.

“This mission demonstrated the U.S. commitment to support global security and our ability to launch a credible strategic defense force,” said Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox.

Emphasized in the statement is how the exercise gave USPACOM the chance to work and train with “partner nations” in the region and that, as “USPACOM’s area of responsibility covers 52 percent of the globe,” such drills are effective at “assuring our allies while deterring potential adversaries.”

The announcement, and the exercise itself, comes at a time of high tension in the region.

Last week, U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 bombers — one of which flew in Wednesday’s historic formation — to Andersen Air Force Base in purported response to North Korea’s repeated test firings of ballistic missiles. North Korea, perhaps not surprisingly, perceived the move as a sign of imminent aggression on the part of the United States.

North Korea, in a statement cited by South Korean news agency Yonhap, responded by warning, “The right to make a preemptive nuclear strike is not the monopoly of the U.S.” and that the country was ready to “deal a merciless and annihilating blow to the enemy if they make even the slightest provocation.”

Meanwhile, pressure is building between China and Japan.

Since the beginning of August, Japan has been accusing China of violating its sovereign space by sending hundreds of fishing boats — accompanied by armed government vessels — across its maritime boundary lines and into Japanese waters. These claims were substantiated when the Japanese Coast Guard released video of the violations on Tuesday.

Further ratcheting up the tension is the fact that Japan has begun development of land-to-sea missiles in the name of protecting its space. China, of course — who doesn’t acknowledge the boundary line and claims territorial rights to those waters — took this news as proof that Japan was “eyeing a shift to an offensive posture,” according to a recent article in China’s state-run Global Times.

And all of this takes place in the context of the larger, ever more potentially destructive collision in the region — fierce posturing between superpowers China and the United States.

The U.S. — which, incidentally, has long been an ally of Japan — claims its forces stationed in Southeast Asia are there at the request of partner nations, such as Guam and the Philippines. It was the Philippines, in fact, which brought a suit against China at the U.N. Arbitration Court over the South China Sea dispute. That suit was settled on June 11 in favor of the Philippines, though China has all along stated it has no intention of abiding by that ruling.

But China, feeling the heat of the U.S. presence in the region, has been putting on a show of late, demonstrating both its militaristic and technological capabilities — such as unveiling the world’s largest amphibious aircraft and releasing footage of rockets that can destroy targets miles above the Earth.

And with the Air Force’s strategic bomber exercise on Tuesday suggesting that the U.S. seems be of a similarly braggadocious mind, it doesn’t appear either side will be backing down any time soon.

On July 14, in fact, a former Navy admiral told a congressional hearing the U.S. would be wise to prepare for naval warfare in the South China Sea.

Indeed, it appears all that’s required now is the spark, and the waters of the East and South China Seas could ignite. And given the geopolitical ties of both China and the United States to other regions of the globe, the potential is there for other nations to feel compelled to get in on the action.

This article (US-China Tensions in the S. China Sea: Nukes, Bombers, and Land-to-Air Missiles) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to James Holbrooks and If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Also Read: U.S. Preparing To Launch Submarine Drones Into Disputed Territory Of The South China Sea

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7 Comments on "US-China Tensions in the S. China Sea: Nukes, Bombers, and Land-to-Air Missiles"

  1. Rogue groups within the American government and military have proven through their own actions they are only interests is self serving incremental imperialistic takeovers. They have infiltrated other nations with paid mercenaries to cause destabilization for regime change to place their compliant puppets.
    It’s this same theme over and over, and they don’t care about the consequences for anyone, including the American people who they are supposed to represent, except themselves.
    They will start another world war if they feel it will gain them their goals in the end, and if it goes nuclear, they will run and hide in holes in the ground.
    Much like rodents.

  2. Endless fear mongering to control the masses.

  3. noor aza othman | August 19, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Reply

    I suspect the new WW3 will be started by the ZioNazi-controlled NA*O-ISra*l’s NWO; with the help of
    their main ally, Jap*n, in the biggest ocean on earth, the Pacific Ocean, covering around 50% ocean water on Earth, against China, Russia and Iran, especially from their highly strategic NA*O-Jap*n base at unexplored last frontier of massively oil/gas/minerals -rich Greater Horn of Africa (especially in Ethiopia) and also their highly secretive underground Submarine Nuclear base at the stolen land in the central Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia [stolen from its Indigenous Chagossian peoples (who were falsely labelled in propagandas as so-called ‘imported slave-labour’ in ZioWikipedia] – see Diego Garcia Islanders Displaced In U.K. Failure Hope To Return Home, April 16, 2015; and at – Role of Israel and Soros Exposed by MH370 Twin Jet in Tel Aviv , By Yoichi Shimatsu, March 26, 2014.

  4. noor aza othman | August 19, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Reply

    Such WW3 is in order to control the global energy security within the much linked-Pacific-Indian Ocean‘s fundamental global fixed maritime routes , especially the globally fundamental small handful of oil and submarine chokepoints of the three Straits of Malacca, Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb, and the Suez Canal (especially along the South China Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea – that ultimately links all, to ISrael and the West through the Mediterranean Sea. Hence, also controlling the bordering massively oil/gas/minerals-rich Asia [especially to conquer Malaysia and Sumatera – where both Malaysia and Indonesia strategically control major Strait of Malacca route), and the Arab-Iran world and East Africa (that control together the Bab el-Mandeb Strait)- see – These 8 narrow chokepoints are critical to the world’s oil trade , Jeremy Bender, Apr. 1, 2015; at , War in Yemen could threaten one of the world’s most important oil chokepoints , Armin Rosen, Mar. 26, 2015; at – Great Power Politics in the South China Sea, October 26, 2015, at – Why the South China Sea is so crucial, Robert D. Kaplan, “Asia’s Cauldron” , Feb 20, 2015; at – Japan and China Race to Invest in Africa’s Natural Resources, By Economy watch – Jun 24, 2013; and at – Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa, April 26, 2010 richard rozoff, Stop NATO, April 25, 2010.

    Further, thus is why, the ZioNazis are launching terrorist propaganda wars on increasingly independent-minded Muslim Turkey right now to push it out of NATO – especially in Austria and Germany!

  5. If the US is foolish enough to take on China, in its own near afar, then America will be toast, no matter how many floating coffins ( aircraft carriers) it has! Mark my words, taking on China is not like invading Grenada. It isn’t like destroying Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and attempting to do so in Syria. If Russia comes down on the side of China, even with no feet on the ground or planes in the air, the US will be very hard pressed to accomplish whatever geopolitical goal it has for taking on China in the first place ( don’t forget China’s holding of $trillions of US financial paper).

  6. So, according to Mr. Mao Tse Obama, on his trip to China he got what he wanted.

  7. why cant it just be over?

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