As Beijing waits for the tone to be adopted by President Joe Biden in its relationship with the Asian power, the armed forces of the two countries have decided to test their readiness on the waters around China.
On Tuesday, two rival spy planes flew side by side in southern Taiwan, the island the Communist dictatorship considers a rebel province.
In addition, the Chinese navy announced a blitzkrieg military exercise in the South China Sea until Sunday, shortly after a US aircraft carrier entered those waters.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt is close to the rocks of the Scarborough Sandbar, one of the areas China considers itself to be and uses it to assert control of 85% of this sea. The United States and others countries in the region say the waters are international.
Occasionally, Washington sends warships to the area. Theodore Roosevelt’s departure is the first of its kind since Biden took office last Wednesday (20).
At the end of the year, the Pentagon said the US Navy should be more aggressive in curbing China’s expansionist intentions in the Pacific and Russia’s military movements, particularly in the Black and Baltic Seas.
In the document, he predicted that there would be a greater risk of accidental encounters between his forces and those of rivals. In 2011, a Chinese fighter crashed after crashing into an American surveillance plane.
In Tuesday’s incident, an American EP-3E flew side-by-side with a Chinese Y-8G, a rare occurrence.
Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea on Saturday (23), accompanied by two destroyers and a cruiser. Their traffic was accompanied by seven planes, something also unusual.
At the same time, over the weekend, the Chinese sent 13 fighter jets, including 8 H-6K bombers and 4 J-16 fighters, to train in the area.
All of this indicates that, despite the suggestion that he would adopt a more measured tone than Donald Trump, Biden will maintain the military pressure against Beijing.
In the Republican government, the so-called Cold War 2.0 has been opened, with military, economic and political clashes in several areas. The number of litigation, from 5G to Hong Kong to the South China Sea, has escalated and has raised concerns among analysts that it could end in a military conflict.
This seems unlikely in the short to medium term, due to the interdependence of the planet’s two largest economies, but the risk of accidents with this intense movement of ships and planes in disputed regions such as the Sea of Southern China and the Taiwan Strait exist and tend to grow.
On the eve of the end of the Trump administration, the State Department called Beijing’s policy for the genocide of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the country. When questioned in the Senate, the new head of portfolio, Antony Blinken, agreed with the definition.
Biden has yet to give a public demonstration of his policies towards China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday (25) that the world must avoid another cold war. In a virtual speech at the World Economic Forum, he defended multilateralism as a tool for conflict resolution.