The complex relationships between the U.S., North Korea, and China were illustrated in the late morning on Sunday as one American spy plane was nearly destroyed by an aggressive Chinese maneuver.
In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been forced to address the numerous threats being consistently disseminated from North Korea, leading to a congregation of U.S. and Japanese forces in the waters off of the Korean Peninsula. In addition to this show of force, U.S. military experts have been concerned about a number of man-made islands appearing in the disputed territory of the South China Sea – a development that Beijing would rather we ignore. Given the hefty hullabaloo occurring in the region, it comes as no surprise that an American spy plane would be making the rounds. In fact, we’ve been routinely flying such missions for years, with plenty of friendly escorts by Chinese fighters in the past.
Sunday morning’s incident was much different, however, with an unacceptably reckless aggression being displayed by the Chinese military.
“The Americans spy plane was intercepted by two Chinese J-10 fighter jets, said Navy Cap. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
“‘One of them came underneath it at a high rate of speed, then slowed and pulled up. This caused the EP-3, its TCAS [automatic collision avoidance system] to go off, and it was forced to take evasive action,’ Davis said.
“‘I would just say that this was uncharacteristic of the normal safe behavior we see from the Chinese military,’ Davis said. ‘There are intercepts that occur in international airspace regularly, and the vast majority of them are conducted in a safe manner. This was the exception, not the norm.'”
This incident has highlighted the strain in the U.S.-Chinese relationship in recent months, as North Korea continues to push forward with its plan to nuke the United States, unabated by China’s weak resolutions against them.
President Donald Trump has asked for assistance from the Chinese in wrangling the dainty despot Kim Jong Un. China, for its part, has increased economic sanctions on the reclusive regime, but to little effect. Trump has since stated that he appreciates China’s attempts to corral the maniacal Kim, but that the time for diplomacy may very well be over. Just last week, the U.S. banned travel of its citizens to the rogue nation and urged any nationals currently residing within the borders of the DPRK to leave immediately, leading many to believe that a U.S. military strike was on the horizon.