Along with 16 other allies, including Germany, Australia began a significant multinational military drill on Friday, amid mounting worries over China’s military threat to Taiwan.
Over 100 planes and 2,500 troops are involved in the Royal Australian Air Force’s yearly Pitch Black military operation. Through September 8, the drill will include Brisbane and the Northern Parts.
Australia Isn’t Playing Around
Australian Air Commander Tim Alsop said in a release, “this year, substantial efforts have been taken to develop the air-to-air refueling capabilities amongst several of the nations involved.”
“Air-to-air refueling is a huge force, giving our fighter aircraft vital reach. Working with several of the participating countries seeks to strengthen our capabilities and force distribution,” Alsop said.
The French, Indonesia, India, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Philippines, Canada, Netherlands, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United States are among participating countries.
— Gen Z News Studio (@genznewsstudio) August 12, 2022
For the very first time, Japan, South Korea, and Germany took part. India claimed to have supplied four Su-30 MKI jets and two C-17 aircraft, compared to Germany’s 13 military planes that were deployed for the exercise.
After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the autonomous island of Taiwan, China issued a military warning against Taiwan, which provided the context for the exercise.
Taiwan is seen in China as a rebellious province that has to be unified with the motherland.
However, given that the fighter planes would be flying across civilian airspace, German Air Force Chief Ingo Gerhatz claimed on Monday the dispatch of the planes to Australia was not meant to convey “any menacing message” to China.
He told reporters, “the South China Sea and Taiwan are certainly the sticking issues in the area.”
“We will go on foreign lines and fly at a height of more than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), just touching the South China Sea.”
China Creates Havoc
The general’s remarks were repeated by Philip Green, Australia’s envoy to Germany, who emphasized Beijing should not view a routine drill as disrupting the area.
When questioned about the message for China, Green responded, “We are seeking a region that will maintain a stable, peaceful, and wealthy, strategic balance where each nation can make its own sovereign decisions.”
— Steven Thomas (@aNdr0iz) August 17, 2022
In retribution for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced its largest combined military drills ever this month.
However, experts disagree on whether the drills represent an advance toward armed confrontations or are just empty rhetoric.
At least 11 hypersonic rockets were launched during the drills, a few of which flew over Taiwan and crashed in the seas of Japan’s exclusive trade zone.
This led to a de facto embargo on Taiwan that disrupted international transit and shipping routes.
The White House stated that China set up its military to conduct more operations in the area; although it did not explain what such operations may include.This article appeared in Powerhouse News and has been published here with permission.