US Navy Planning Global Show Of Force Against China

UNITED STATES — The United States Navy is re­ported to be planning a global show of force to show China that the US is ready to engage it militarily.

The classified plan be­ing drawn up by the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet recom­mends the US Navy to carry out a series of operations across the world during a week in November, the CNN reported Thursday cit­ing several unnamed mili­tary officials.

Aimed at warning the adversaries about Amer­ica’s ability to take on ad­versaries on several fronts, the “highly focused and concentrated” drills would involve warships, combat aircraft and troops, the of­ficials said.

The plan specifically suggests sending ships and aircraft near China’s territo­rial waters in the South Chi­na Sea and Taiwan Strait, as part of Washington insists are “freedom of navigation operations” to protect move­ment in the sea.

This means that the US military would get close to Chinese military forces operating both in the sea, running the chance of close encounters. While the American officials em­phasized that Washington had no plans to engage the Chinese forces, it is unlikely that China would ignore such operations.

This became evident last week, when the USS Decatur guided-missile de­stroyer attempted to sail close to a Chinese-claimed island in the sea only to be countered by the Chinese destroyer, the Lanzhou.

Lanzhou approached USS Decatur in such a man­ner that the American war­ship was forced to change direction and leave the area.

The close encounter was followed by a storm of criti­cism and warnings from the two sides, further straining tense US-China ties amid an ongoing trade war that is grow­ing to include other issues.

Friction between the world’s two biggest econo­mies hit a new high in late September, when Trump accused China of seeking to interfere in the upcoming US congressional elections in early November.

Military ties between the two sides took a major hit as a result of the fallout after Beijing rejected a US warship’s request to visit Hong Kong. Beijing has also postponed joint military talks with the Pentagon af­ter the Trump administra­tion imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over buying Russian weapons.

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