Pentagon Releases Images of “Coercive and Risky” Behavior by China

Pentagon Releases Images of "Coercive and Risky" Behavior by China

( – While concerns continue to arise about China representing a potential threat to the US, the significance of those concerns is a topic of ongoing debate. As tensions escalate over America’s involvement in Taiwan and lingering trade disputes, the situation is growing increasingly complex. But recent evidence suggests that the Chinese military is squarely targeting the US in what appears to be a coordinated effort.

The Pentagon has declassified photos and videos that seem to demonstrate Chinese jets displaying aggressive behavior toward US assets in the Indo-Pacific region. The Department of Defense (DOD) accused the foreign country of carrying out “a centralized and concerted campaign” by repeatedly intercepting American aircraft in the past two years.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Ely Ratner, noted that “since the fall of 2021, [the military] has seen more than 180 such incidents.” That figure greatly exceeds the number of attacks in the decade prior. When factoring in the incidents involving allied forces, the statistic jumps to nearly 300.

Navy Adm. John Aquilino, leader of the US Indo-Pacific Command, said he began trying to open dialogue with China, which continues to resist his efforts, more than 2.5 years ago. At least some of the incidents of concern were designated “unsafe and unprofessional,” a classification that suggests the interceptions risked lives. “Coercive and risky” is a step below that, and made up many of the other incidents.

The videos and photos paint a bleak picture of how quickly something could go wrong during an interaction. Footage taken in July shows a Chinese jet sending out flares a mere 900 feet from a US jet. That incident took place in the East China Sea. In September, Chinese aircraft flew within 50 feet of a US plane over the South China Sea, a body of water the foreign country claims as its own despite the fact that international laws disagree with that position. The Asian nation also has a reputation for harassing US ships in international waters.

More details will be released in the upcoming annual Chinese Military Power Report, which is said to be coming out soon.

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