Philip Lenczycki on May 20, 2022
China’s most powerful bombers circled U.S. military bases in Okinawa, Japan, on Wednesday, according to Chinese state-run media Thursday.
A pair of China’s H-6J bombers crossed between two of the largest islands of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, where the U.S has multiple military installations, before circling in the region, Global Times reported. The bombers likely coordinated with the Liaoning aircraft carrier group, which has been conducting drills in the region since May 2, according to the report.
The military exercise featuring China’s “most powerful bombers” was a “rehearsal for keeping foreign forces from interfering in the Taiwan question” and sent “a powerful warning to Taiwan secessionists and external interference forces,” Global Times reported.
China’s drills came as President Joe Biden made the first stop of his Asia tour in Seoul, South Korea, according to a White House press release. The diplomatic mission, which will also include a stop in Tokyo, Japan, is the first time Biden has visited Asia as president.
The area south of Okinawa is strategically significant because the Chinese military will need to hold the region against U.S. and Japanese military forces in the event China invades Taiwan, analysts told the Global Times.
“The H-6J has a long range, and from this position, the bomber can block hostile targets like aircraft carriers and other warships,” Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times. “Multiple H-6Js carrying a large number of YJ-12 supersonic missiles can launch saturation attacks on hostile fleets, which would be very difficult to defend against.”
The Chinese Embassy, Department of Defense and Navy did not respond immediately to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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