China Overtakes Island Nation – US Air Force Sends These 3 Strategic Bombers For The First Time
The Spratly Islands are not often a topic of discussion but that could be changing. Located in the South China Sea the small strip of islands have been attracting some new residents, the Chinese Military. The Chinese have begun infiltrating islands around the area and establishing military bases. This has been a growing problem since China took over the Scarborough Shoal, which is a territory of the Philippines. They have also begun expanding the islands with artificial soil and establishing military-grade landing strips as well as rocket launchers. Tensions have been rising against China after establishing a “no sail zone” near Vietnam.
“Intensified military activities so close to Chinese islands and reefs or even entering the neighbouring waters of these islands and reefs, these activities certainly have the risk of leading to some conflict.”
– Cui Tiankai (China’s Ambassador to the United States)
Chinese bases may not pose an immediate threat, however, control of the shipping routes may have long lasting effects. The South China Sea’s shipping routes equate to roughly $7 billion worth of trade including, oil, gas and fishing. The US Air Force is not taking any chances and initiated Operation Continuous Bomber Presence. Dispatching a B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam as a precaution. The aircraft are seen here being readied for their mission and flying off to defend other islands from takeover.