It’s late May, when Australian surveillance aircraft fly over the South China Sea in the azure sky. The aircraft crew has regular surveillance missions in international airspace. They don’t expect any trouble.
Suddenly, Chinese fighters intercept them.
Fire flares and quickly cut and close the nose of an Australian aircraft. Fighters then deploy chaff, a bundle of small pieces of metal commonly used as a countermeasure to destroy enemy radar systems.
Countless small pieces of aluminum are quickly sucked into the engine of the surveillance aircraft, damaging the aircraft, putting the crew in serious danger and shortening Australia’s mission.
International leadership refrains from considering the case as an act of war, but it has become one of more and more hostile encounters between the armed forces of China’s communist regime and the armed forces of its closest allies to the United States. Only.
“Obviously this is very dangerous” Said Australian Defense Minister Richard Mars after the incident.
Still, it is the latest in a long line of aggressive and sometimes reckless stunts carried out by Chinese troops in an effort to intimidate Western allies away from the Indo-Pacific.
Attack on US allies
Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesman Tan Kefei said Accused An Australian crew member who “ignores repeated warnings from the Chinese side” and enters the airspace of the Paracel Islands, a conflict area where China, Taiwan and Vietnam all claim ownership.
Tan did not provide evidence to support the claim.
He also did not link dangerous operations to more and more incidents conducted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) military sector aimed at threatening US allies from their involvement in the Indo-Pacific region. did.
Indeed, Chinese fighter pilots have become more and more aggressive in international encounters to the point of recklessness, often “disturbing” alliance aircraft and ships, causing turbulence, and from routes intended for alliance missions. I’m flying so close that I can make a detour.
More recently, Chinese fighters have flown within 20 feet of Canadian surveillance aircraft. Close enough for the Canadian pilot to make eye contact with the Chinese pilot, the Chinese pilot presented the Canadian with the middle finger. according to To Canada’s Global News, citing unnamed government sources.
according to According to another global news report, there have been more than 60 such interceptions of Canadian aircraft by Chinese fighters in international waters in recent months. A path to avoid mid-air collisions.
The quest for a revolutionary martyr in China
To the question why now? Why is it an ally of the United States? Why is it like this? There are few exceptional answers that highlight CCP’s ambitions and strategies in the Indo-Pacific.
One of the reasons for such threats is that the CCP is trying to obscure evidence of its misconduct. CCP is now i doubt it For example, violating sanctions against North Korea by illegally transferring oil to a North Korean ship at sea. The Canadian plane, which was very noisy by Chinese troops, was part of the UN’s mission to track such sanctions from North Korea and prevent asylum-seekers from developing nuclear weapons.
However, the tactics of using reputed stunts and intimidation go far beyond the invalidation of Chinese sanctions and have deep precedents in the promotion and doctrine of CCP over the last two decades.
In 2001, a Chinese fighter pilot named Wang Wei had his own long history of rioting Western aircraft. Collided A U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft was killed after being fired from a fighter over the South China Sea.
Later, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin declared the king a “guardian of sea and airspace,” and Chinese Communist Party propaganda celebrated him as a “revolutionary martyr,” in cultural terms of Chinese military tactics. I worshiped my actions forever.
The granting of martyr status to the king is also in chronological order with the adoption of the CCP’s “Three Wars” and “Unlimited Hybrid Wars” strategies aimed at maximizing all politics to spread communism. It was tied with.
Twenty-one years later, Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party is launching a new barrage of military psychological operations against the United States and its allies in a clear attempt to retreat Western forces from the influence of the Western Pacific.
In a tense meeting with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in June, China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said the Chinese Communist Party was “at no cost” ready for the war.
The meeting should have focused on setting up guardrails for the two powers to prevent catastrophic miscalculations that could launch just such a war.
Shortly thereafter, Xi announced 59 new military rules aimed at preparing China for “non-war” military operations. This reflects a similar term used by partner Russia to refer to the invasion of Ukraine.
Then followed another announcement that China and Russia would strengthen “strategic coordination”, including military relations.
In each case, the CCP followed an established pattern of ex post facto saying that it was acting to defend its sovereignty. To be precise, it is a term used to justify the unnecessary violence and death of the Pilot King 21 years ago.
“Weaken the enemy”
With the exception of one close encounter between the US and Chinese fighters, the CCP’s aerial threatening campaign has focused on US allies, not the US itself.
According to one expert, this is intentional and is likely an attempt to drive a wedge between the United States and its regional allies that it depends on as part of its national strategy. And if it gets caught up in the war over Taiwan’s continued de facto independence, it will desperately need help.
Casey Fleming, CEO of risk management firm Black Ops Partners, said:
According to Fleming, the frequency and showmanship of China’s aerial attacks is an unlimited hybrid war of CCPs seeking to erode the capabilities and influence of Western democracy through military, legal, economic and psychological means. Should be considered in the larger campaign of.
“Hybrid warfare is based on weakening the enemy by all means possible,” Fleming said.
“”[These] Intimidation tactics aim to show the strength and willingness to fight in the event of a ground war in Taiwan. “
Therefore, the recklessness of the air-to-air conflict between the CCP and the Allies should not be considered an isolated event. Rather, they are important to China’s strategy to demoralize and undermine US allies and partners that Chinese Communist leaders may support the United States in the event of an open conflict in the Indo-Pacific. It is a part.
To that end, Fleming has documented and published all encounters with best practices that Australia, Canada, and other Allies can implement, demonstrating their ability to fly freely in international airspace despite a CCP explosion. He said it was to continue.
“Our allies need to record and document these threatening tactics while continuing their legitimate flight,” Fleming said.