CHINA has surrounded Taiwan in menacing war games with a fleet of over 50 warplanes, including nuclear bombers.
As Beijing ramps up pressure on Taiwan, a senior US Navy admiral has said America must confront the Chinese “gorilla in space.”
China conducted its largest-ever military drills around Taiwan, considered its territory, during the visit of senior US politician Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation.
Those drills included launching multiple ballistic missiles into waters off Taiwan — some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the latest attack affected 51 aircraft, including H-6 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
This included 25 planes crossing the Taiwan Strait center line, which in normal times acts as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, or flying into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
In response, Taiwanese warplanes were seen taking to the skies, some armed with anti-ship missiles.
It comes after Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the Seventh Fleet, said it was “very important that we contest things like this”.
“I know the gorilla in space is launching missiles over Taiwan,” he said.
“If we just allow that and don’t deny that, that’s going to be the next norm.
“It is irresponsible to launch missiles over Taiwan into international waters where shipping routes lie, where free shipping works.”
Thomas likens the threats against Taiwan to the South China Sea, where Beijing has spent years establishing military bases on a series of contested atolls while denying it did just that.
“Unless you suddenly challenge it, it can become like the islands in the South China Sea have now become military outposts,” he said.
After Pelosi’s visit, Xi Jinping’s forces blockaded the self-governing island in a chilling rehearsal for an invasion.
Such a conflict could draw the US and other allies into a disastrous superpower struggle, experts warn.
It has been reported to have its latest stealth submarine based in Taiwan.
The Type-039C Yuan is loaded with weaponry, including supersonic missiles aimed at sinking the US Navy’s mighty aircraft carriers.
In response to the war games, the US military staged a massive show of force over the Pacific.
A warship sailed underneath while two B-2 Spirit nuclear attack aircraft fly in formation with four F/A-18 Hornet fighters and a high-tech E-7A Wedgetail spy plane “eye-in-the-sky” from Australia.
The rarely seen B-2 flying wing – designed to be virtually invisible to radar – is the world’s most expensive aircraft at an estimated £1.6 billion apiece.
The US has reiterated its support for Taiwan after China refused to rule out using force to seize the independent island.
Experts warn China’s massive army could crush US-led defenses within days, and one simulation suggests the US would lose 900 planes.
Others also say China would need two million troops and face devastating casualties like Russia did in Ukraine.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6026525/china-surrounds-taiwan-fighter-jets-bombers-beijing-gorilla/ China surrounds Taiwan with FIFTY fighter jets and nuclear bombers in war games while US brands dub Beijing the ‘gorilla in space’.