A top US air force commander has expressed alarm at the growing number of dangerous midair encounters between American warplanes and those of China and Russia.
Head of US Pacific Air Forces General Herbert Carlisle particularly complained about China’s naval and air forces for “very much continuing to push” toward becoming increasingly active in international waters and airspace in Asia, the US-based Washington Post reported Saturday.
“They still talk about the century of humiliation in the last century. They still talk about this as the rise of China,” Carlisle asserted, adding, “They still talk about this as their great nation. And they want to continue to demonstrate that.”
The senior US military commander further expressed concern that American and Chinese forces were frequently encountering each other in parts of the East China and South China seas, where they rarely came into contact in the past.
Since commissioning its first aircraft carrier two years ago, Chinese naval forces have carried out numerous drills farther away from their country’s shores while patrolling disputed waters where Chinese firms are reportedly drilling for oil.
Meanwhile, US military officials have also expressed concern about confronting “a resurgent Russia,” which, they say, is conducting more long-range reconnaissance and bomber missions in the region near the American territory.
According to the report, on September 17, US warplanes intercepted a half-dozen Russian military aircraft, two fighter jets, two long-range bombers and two refueling tankers, as they were flying in international airspace near the Alaska coastline.
American authorities further stated that they have also seen an increase in Russian bombers flying near the American-held island of Guam in the Pacific.
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