The Pentagon Releases Videos of 'Aggressive' Behavior From Chinese Fighter Jets
Videos Show Jets Exercise 'Coercive and Risky' Moves
The Pentagon recently declassified a series of videos and photos showcasing 15 incidents where Chinese fighter jets engaged in "coercive and risky" maneuvers near U.S. jets in the Indo-Pacific region. These incidents, which occurred since the fall of 2021, highlight China's concerted efforts to alter U.S. operations in the area.
The released footage provides a glimpse into what the Pentagon considers a "centralized and concerted campaign" by China. The videos and photos made public on Tuesday, shed light on the increasing frequency of encounters between Chinese and U.S. military aircraft.
According to Assistant Defense Secretary for the Indo-Pacific, Ely Ratner, there have been over 180 instances of "coercive and risky" behavior by Chinese jets in the past two years alone. This number surpasses the total incidents recorded in the previous decade.
Ratner emphasized the reckless nature of these maneuvers, which include actions such as discharging chaff, deploying flares, and rapidly approaching or flying too close to U.S. aircraft. These actions are aimed at compromising the safety and operational capabilities of U.S. forces in the region.
One of the declassified videos, captured in July, displays a Chinese jet releasing eight flares just 900 feet away from a U.S. plane over the East China Sea. The most recent footage, from September, shows a Chinese fighter jet coming as close as 50 feet to a U.S. plane in the South China Sea.
Despite the Pentagon's classification of these actions as "coercive and risky," U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John Aquilino notes that they fall slightly short of being labeled "unsafe and unprofessional," which implies a direct threat to lives.
The release of these images and videos serves multiple purposes. Primarily, it aims to raise awareness about China's aggressive behavior in the region and highlight the escalating tensions between the two superpowers. Additionally, the declassified material provides evidence to support the U.S. government's claims against China's military activities.
The Pentagon's decision to make this information public also serves as a deterrent, sending a message to China that such behavior will not be tolerated. By showcasing the extent of these encounters, the U.S. hopes to discourage further provocative actions.
These revelations come at a time when tensions between China and the U.S. are already high, with both countries engaged in an ongoing dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea. The release of these images and videos further exacerbates the strained relationship between the two nations.
As the situation continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how China will respond to the Pentagon's disclosures. The U.S. government, on its part, has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of its forces and allies in the Indo-Pacific region.
Declassified of videos and photos by the Pentagon provides a glimpse into China's "coercive and risky" maneuvers near U.S. jets in the Indo-Pacific region. These incidents highlight China's ongoing efforts to alter U.S. operations in the area and have contributed to escalating tensions between the two nations.