U.S. bombers challenge China in South China Sea flyover


Two U.S bombers have flown over the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. Air Force said on Friday, asserting the right to treat the region as international territory despite China’s claim to virtually all of the waterway.

The flight by the B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam on Thursday came as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepare for a meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Germany.

The two leaders were expected to discuss what China can do to rein in North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapon programs.

North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday that some experts believe has the range to reach Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

While Trump has been seeking China’s help to press North Korea, the U.S. military has, nevertheless, been asserting its “freedom of navigation” rights in the South China Sea, at the risk of angering China.

Asked about the flight by the two U.S. bombers, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said there was no problem with freedom of navigation or overflight for the East and South China Seas.

“But China resolutely opposes individual countries using the banner of freedom of navigation and overflight to flaunt military force and harm China’s sovereignty and security,” he said.

China’s Defence Ministry, in a short statement sent to Reuters, said China always maintained its vigilance and “effectively monitors relevant countries’ military activities next to China”.

“The Chinese military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security as well as regional peace and stability,” it added, without elaborating.

The United States has criticized China’s build-up of military facilities on South China Sea reefs and tiny islands it has constructed, concerned that they could be used to extend its strategic reach.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims in the sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year.

The two Lancers that made the flight had earlier trained with Japanese jet fighters in the neighboring East China Sea, the first time the two forces had conducted joint night-time drills.

Two U.S. Lancers flew from Guam over the South China Sea last month, while a U.S. warship carried out a maneuvering drill within 12 nautical miles of one of China’s artificial islands in the waterway in late May.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly in TOKYO; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Paul Tait, Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “U.S. bombers challenge China in South China Sea flyover”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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36 Comments on “U.S. bombers challenge China in South China Sea flyover”

  1. Tyler Reber says:

    strategically in military terms, fly overs make sense if one were trying to gather information about anothers capabilities. Response times, equipment responded with, ect. I’m sure they have lots of data they’re interested in and capable of collecting.

    It would sense that bomb bays are instead utilized as sensitive electronic bays for collecting data during peace times.

    The United states would be right in conducting such flights if wants to accurately measure the risks of challenging China militarily. Although, I don’t consider such a strategy to be conducive with any peace building process.

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    • Fre Okin says:

      That make sense. The Chinese better be smart to maintain radio silence to avoid giving US a chance to probe their electronic capabilities/weakness and learn how to jam it in the future, even with a virus payload. On a side note, I sense US dare not attack NK for fear the Chinese new UHF radar may learn how to defeat F35 and F22 if they fly into NK and the Chinese sniffing at the border.

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  2. Simon says:

    China allowed American aggression over its territorial waters so it can have the excuse of not reigning in North Korea and also encourage nationalistic feelings in HK that America is threatening the Chinese people.
    I wonder how much the Americans are part of this theatre? Its own action against Chinese interests they will know full well the Chinese would be reluctant to help them reigning in North Korea. It seems the Americans are happy with ratcheting up the instability so Japan and South Korea will continue to buy their rubbish military hardware and pay them protection money.
    One must also realise that despite America’s show of force they did absolutely nothing to confront China militarily to stop them in its activities in the SCS, ECS or the Daioyu Islands. Trump is all theatre.

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  3. Assassin says:

    More Amerikan bravado and provocation. Washington has been watching one Hollywood movie too many. They think because they carry a big gun, they can intrude into your territory with impunity, sit down and put their feet up on your table, spit and smoke and blow the smoke in your face, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Well, Being’s bunch of old retards indecisiveness, inaction and passiveness at Doklam Plateau has brought this about. Their stupidity and timidity encouraged the Amerikan cowboys to behave with contempt and condescension at China. If this is how China’s leaders behave, no wonder Chinese are not respected. They can be easily bullied elsewhere too, discriminated, and excluded from U.S. unlike others.

    What kind of leaders are there in Beijing? They seem to be looking after their own interests only and not ordinary Chinese’s. Imagine letting the border and frontier troops take the shit from the Indians and Amerikas while they lounge in their cowardly opportunity to be seen subsequently as saintly-do-gooders to the world including the Indians and Amerikans at the expense of these troops and the image and respect of Chinese; How peace-loving and saintly they are.

    If that is their retarded thinking, I want to puke.

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  4. Steve says:

    Looks like the Scoundrels are running Amok with Freedom of Nonsense (FON).

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  5. Joseph says:

    What ironic is that the bombers now fly from Guam, not Japan. It means that the bombers needs more fuel to do this American wimp. Ironic that Reuters emphasizes the $5 trillion shipping craps again as the American and the British have no or insignificant portion of the shipping trade. China and ASEAN, however have the right to shoot down the bombers as most of the shipping lanes are theirs and those bombers represent considerable threat to those shippings. Nobody in the region asks American protection. And America showing their flags is an act of aggression and arrogance. It is just an act of blackmail to the region with derelict warmachines.

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  6. Fre Okin says:

    Let the American monkeys get tired of themselves. Not a newsworthy event. They did that when China declare ADIZ in East China Sea, so this is a non news event.

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    • Assassin says:

      You are getting old, my dear Okin.

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      • Fre Okin says:

        Stop the stupid idea the SCS air space belong to China. Garbage nationalist thinking should belong to the Dumpster. US have Every Right to fly through International air space.

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        • Joseph says:

          The American has the right of transit in the area. But flying without purpose, that’s intimadation. As Reuters said, there are $5 trillion of shippings there, what’s the bombers doing there? Are they going to bomb the shipping lane?

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          • Steve says:

            No Joseph, the bomber is unarmed flies in a straight line unlike a P8 surveillance plane. China conducts armed bomber patrols around the SCS. China has the upper hand in this territorial dispute. No reason for China to flex its muscles against the US unarmed bomber. The US bomber is just a sneak with its freedom of nonsense. Why waste fuel, the US is just being foolish. No reason for China to send its fighter planes, if it was a US P8 surveillance plane, China will definitely send its J-11s and perform barrel rolls against the scoundrels.

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            • Joseph says:

              A bomber is a bomber, doesn’t matter if it’s armed or not. It’s an aggressive arsenal. Would the American have their bombers open for inspection? Then we should assume that the bombers are armed. China may be gracious not to shoot down the bombers because it’s no threat to them. But other countries with shipping concerned have the right of defense. After all, why send an aggressive and arsenal? Why not send a docile asset like spy plane. An aggressive arsenal has potential of damages. We have the right to shoot it down.

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        • Assassin says:

          Since when has nationalist sentiments been wrong? There is a time and place for everything. Washington is behaving like a imperial despots asserting her imprimatur every where and riding roughshod over every independent countries’ sovereignty with impunity. And if that isn’t sufficient reason for arousal of nationalist pride and sentiment, you can continue to relive your 150 years of humiliation. The dream of a strong China is what’s its all about. No respect will be earned if you are not ready to defend your ground if you believe and have much basis to believe you are right. In this context therefore, your foolish defeatist appeasement outlook will be the death of us all; Your attitude is one of China and Chinese forever a loser. It is surprising the Asiatimes, the Diplomat, the National Interest and other pro Washington anti Beijing blogs blocked you from their sites. You could had been their best friend. Unwittingly, of course.

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          • Assassin says:

            The end game here is to get the imperial Americans out of East Asia especially the south China and East seas. Have you lost your sense of strategic aim? One would not like to associate you imbecility as you grow “old” although that word was used in a figurative sense. Rather shocked at your prickly response.

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            • Fre Okin says:

              You want to be as Backward as the Indians? There is a difference between being a patriot and going overboard as a nationalist which is Harmful to Your Own Country. FOLLOW THE LAW. US bomber flight is JUST A GAME. China can do it too WHEN she become more capable. GET USE TO IT and DON’T be TOO Overly Sensitive!

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              • Steve says:

                Correct

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              • Assassin says:

                It seems you have been brainwashed as the the meaning and use of the words “patriot” and “nationalist”. Imperial Washington and CIA would love nothing less than ensuring no nationalist or patriotic sentiments abound in any country in this global empire of America. “Nationalism” and “patriotism” is bad news for the Empire. Indeed you are getting senile my old friend. You are now Washington and CIA’s best spokesman.

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              • Assassin says:

                Follow the law? Like the “law” emanating from the fraudulent ruling of the PCA? You seem to be regressing my friend. If anything the American elections and current infighting spotlights, it is that the law is an ass. It depends who is the attorney-general. Who sits there, and elsewhere like in the PCA, decides who gets justice or injustice. The law is easily perverted by politicians. Ms Loretta Lynch is now currently in danger of being impeached. While law breaker, murderer and mass murderer Hillary Rodham is getting away scot free. It seems there are two laws – one for the rich and powerful and one for the others. Does one need to educate you about this in South East Asia? Law is made by man, including discriminatory laws and you of all persons trying to be wise, sagacious behaves like a puff up little despot and VIP whose opinions cannot be questioned or diktat disobeyed .. similar to the culture currently being displayed by many semi-educated senior citizens in SE Asia. Your dogmatism and fundamentalism betrays you.

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        • Spengler says:

          Yeah, just like American warships have the right to sail inside China’s 12-mile territorial waters or shoot down an Iranian civilian passenger airline in the Persian Gulf, or funding USAid or Endowment for Democracy to overthrow democratically elected governments in Ukraine or Syria inside these countries? FO sounds either rather naive or possessing of shallow intellect. How can someone like that look after Chinese interests?

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          • Steve says:

            U don’t mean shoot down the bomber.? Its only an unarmed bomber not like a P8 surveillance plane. Its unwise performing barrel rolls around a bomber. China has the upper hand in this territorial dispute. China is already conducting armed bomber patrols around SCS. The US are just being foolish, they are conducting Freedom of Nonsense (FON).

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        • Fre Okin says:

          Look at all the SILLY Chinese Nationalists. YOU are like the Indian Cowdung heads. How can China Ever be a great country with silly MORONS who don’t Follow The Law? BLIND Patriotism is STUPID Chinaman. YOU are Nothing Special. Just learn to be Good Global Citizens. If you don’t YOU will Forever have enemies Everywhere. Even your Hua Chiao like Me won’t support you imbeciles!

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          • "Cowdung" Dinesh Patel says:

            You sound like a petty little tin pot dictator whose views must dominate. No wonder people who reads your comments would ask you to “f.o.” Writing comments is either an art in diplomatic speak, or in BS-ting like my compatriots in Global Times, albeit with a little help from its compromised editors and moderators. But you. mr “f.o.” is neither but you achieve what we want to achieve and that is making your own people look immature and imbalanced. Thank you. I couldn’t have done it better myself, mr. “Chinaman”. (Yes, we know who you are).

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            • "Cowdung" Dinesh Patel says:

              And thank you for calling South Tibet “Arunachel Pradesh”. You are our best friend.

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            • Fre Okin says:

              I go where the Law dictate. I even smack those idiots who think China lose the PCA where in fact she Won. YOU Indians Break The Law, you Steal AP/S Tibet by annexation in 1987. YOU do not have Legal Authority. The British Raj Did Not give to you. All Treaties Lapsed when they left. Even the Simla Accord is not legal as ROC back then Did Not accept it. It was Only agreed upon by the Tibetan Province, understand? There was even a report a British officer Doctored the Simla Accord. Go look up yourself.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Your points are noted even if I may not necessarily agree with it. You really ought to exercise some self restraint and discipline. I find your comments insulting, like throwing mud at the fan and hitting everyone. You do not have my respect.

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            • Fre Okin says:

              Stop the useless respect business. Facts, laws are more important than niceties. Don’t be a wimp. We may disagree on judgement but when the law show US does not break it, there is no need to make a big deal out of it. Live With It. In this globalized world, Us Vs Them is a stupid idea. It is old school, like how the backward Indians think. What disgust me is that silly Asian culture of face saving. Why so overly sensitive?

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      • Steve says:

        Agree – prior to the establishment of the ECS ADIZ, the US had a regular flight path across the ECS and into the SCS. China has yet to set up an ADIZ around the perimeter of it’s engineered islands. China can lodge a complain, but anything beyond that, its cat and mouse strategy. Don’t expect China to shoot it down. China need to fortify the perimeter of its zones first and later probably an ADIZ.

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        • Assassin says:

          There has been no mention of denying international airspace to American or anyone else’s plane. Kindly do not make unfounded assumptions.

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          • Assassin says:

            Beijing should had ordered its warplanes to aggressively escort the two American bombers the way the British did with Russian planes transiting peacefully through international space. Show you can “man up” or “shirt front” disgusting American genocidal machines, and corrall the friendly global news medias to blitz the Americans and the world with a negative image of the American despots. This is all about playing to the gallery. Beijing can learn to fight fire with fire. Hire some people with communications skill to manage these American wilful attempts to humilate.

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            • Fre Okin says:

              It’s a waste of money! Let them American monkeys tire of themselves. It cost a lot of money to fly from Guam to SCS. In fact this flight probably have to do with US bombers Enroute to South Korea, not a deliberate SCS move. ONLY if they fly Close to Hainan, Then it is worth escorting them.

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              • Assassin says:

                Words spoken in jest seems to have more truism than expected. You are indeed getting old, my friend. You are entitled to your opinion and perspective but you would be retired from any cabinet that needs to make sound effective decisions but yours are not it.

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            • Steve says:

              Q: The Russian planes were flying within the sovereignty over airspace ( UK) before being escorted out into international space.? The Russian planes were flying in/out before being finally escorted out.

              There is no fire with fire fight. The US bombers are too far away from any of China’s sensitive zones like submarine bases around Hainan island. Its just a muscular posture represented by a bomber not a US P8 surveillance aircraft. If it was a US P8 surveillance, I believe China will confront it with barrel rolls. The bomber can only fly in a straight line probably with surveillance cameras on board, but don’t have similar ability to a P8 aircraft.

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          • Steve says:

            ???

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  7. johnleecan says:

    And the Americans expect China to act tougher on North Korea. I mean, China usually uses only mild to moderate measures against whatever country that try to violate its territories or try to intimidate them. Look at Myanmar which is very much weaker than China. What did China do when Myanmar Air Force drop bombs that went into Yunnan and killed four civilians? Summoned Myanmar ambassador and conducted air patrol near China-Myanmar border. If it was America or Israel, they would have attacked the Myanmar Air Force base used in the bombing campaign already. Look at how China responds to Vietnam and Philippine aggression, territorial grabbing and squatting.

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