U.S. Officials, however, stress that there is no imminent threat to Guam.
Guam – While Defense News is reporting Chinese H-6K “Badger” bombers with 1,000 mile range air launched cruise missiles have been flying near our island to test defense zones, U.S. officials stress there is no imminent danger of a conflict with China.
According to Defense News, U.S. defense said recently China is the main long-term challenge in the region. The statements were made to reporters traveling with General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The discussion was in the context of the North Korea’s threat to the region. DOD officials disclosed increasing interactions between Japanese aircraft and “armed Chinese Flankers” to reporters.
Defense officials also brought up China’s increasing military presence in the South China Sea. The People’s Republic of China or PRC has laid claims to a series of manmade islands they created called the Spratly islands. Of regional concern is the potential for China to soon attempt a claim to the entire South China Sea.
Officials told reporters China is trying to normalize any gains it is currently making in this area by increasing fighter and bomber flights in the region. Thus, they have been flying in airspace near Japan resulting in increasing interactions between Chinese military aircraft and Japanese aircraft.
“It’s very common for PRC [People’s Republic of China] aircraft to intercept U.S. aircraft,” said DOD officials.
They have also been increasing their flights near Guam’s airspace, flying Chinese H-6K “Badger” bombers which are equipped with cruise missiles that have a thousand-mile range. DOD officials believes these flights are designed to test U.S. defense zones around Guam.
Officials went as far as saying that, “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] is practicing attacks on Guam.”
Defense officials noted that most of the flights occur without incident and they stressed that there is no imminent danger of a conflict with China.