China's recent military exercises with both Naval and Air Force forces off the coast of Taiwan have been viewed negatively by the United States. In fact, the Pentagon accused China of nothing short of saber-rattling.
Last October, Chinese President Xi Jinping was informed of three advanced weapons systems the United States had sold Taiwan for their defense systems. President Xi almost immediately told his armed forces to prepare for war.
As recently as April and May, China has allowed their Air Force to conduct exercises and even enter Taiwan airspace triggering alerts by Taiwan defense systems. In response to China's most recent aggression toward Taiwan, President Biden has ordered 25 F-22 Raptors to be sent to Japan and Guam—along with the F-22s, 10 F-15 Strike Eagles that are also being sent to the Asian rim.
"We have never had this many Raptors deployed together in the Pacific Air Forces area of operations," Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, told CNN. The F-22 is a multi-use platform, stealth, and viewed by most military analysts as one of the most sophisticated fighter jets in the world.
It has a top speed above Mach-2 (its actual top speed is still classified) and is capable of carrying nuclear weapons. This recent deployment of the Raptors and Strike Eagles, in addition to their support aircraft, will almost undoubtedly be seen by China as stoking yet more tensions.
Hopefully, President Xi of China will adhere to his recent philosophy that a confrontation with the United States is a "no-win" for either side.
By Ken Crow, RAV Contributor
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