The US did a simulated island assault exercise with a red silhouette of China on the uniforms of the air personnel, which the Chinese media has stated as a provocative gesture, as per reports. The drill that is going to get completed on Tuesday was conducted in California but has raised warnings from the state media of China that the Asian country is going to fight back if the US attacked in the South China Sea.
The Air Force magazine confirmed that the training by the US drone fleet, which began on September 3 suggested that the Air Force is focusing on the Pacific region. The patches on the uniforms for the exercise had an MQ-9 Reaper drone, which was superimposed on the red silhouette of China, the report confirmed.
During the drill, the Exercise Agile Reaper, three MQ-9s along with the Navy's Third Fleet, which positioned the carrier strike groups, submarines, and other vessels and the aircraft to the eastern Pacific, with the C-130s and the special warfare and Marine Corps personnel. The reapers carried out airstrikes while a mock assault on San Clemente Island off the Californian coast.
US to Attack China
"It's a demonstration of our capability to rapidly move the MQ-9 anywhere in the world, to unfamiliar locations, and then get out and show the operational reach capabilities of the MQ-9," the US 29th Attack Squadron Commander Lieutenant Colonel Brian Davis said.
MQ-9 Reapers were used during the wars in the Middle East and Africa for the two decades, but the US Air Dorce has taken into consideration to replace them due to fears that their stealth, speed capabilities, and the electronic protection were falling behind those with much more advanced dromes made by Russia and China, as per Air Force.
Despite the training going on far from China, the state media of the Asian nation suggested that the drones might be deployed for attacking the China-built facilities in the South China Sea. "Washington is stepping up preparations for war against China, and this type of drone that has participated in murders and other attacks around the world will also play a role in it," an editorial of the Global Times said. "This is the strategic signal sent from the exercise.
"This is to stir hostilities between the two countries, and is also blackmail to China. Using such an armband with a Chinese map will stimulate people's imagination and create a picture of China and the United States going to war," it added.
Chines former naval officer Wang Yunfei in August stated the US might launch an attack on the South China Sea for boosting Trump's re-election prospects. Wang mentioned that the most probable target of a sudden attack is going to be Scarborough Shoal. In recent times, the relations between China and the US have been heavily affected by the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. The US has been continuously blaming China for the outbreak as Trump had been calling it the 'China Virus'.