China laying mines, dropping bombs in Taiwan Strait to deter US, allies

The latest Chinese bomber, the H-6J, practised bomb-dropping and sea mine-laying operations in a series of coordinated live-fire exercises using high-explosive aerial bombs.

Beijing: China has increased the range of its military exercises near the Taiwan Strait in an effort to show force and attempt to deter the United States and its allies from intervening to protect Taiwan.

Chinese bombers are dropping bombs, conducting live-fire exercises, and laying mines over areas of the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, according to the National Interest.

However, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would need to have established air superiority in order for the H-6J to fly low-altitude mine-laying or precision bombing missions, something which would not be at all assured in any kind of great power confrontation, wrote Kris Osborn for the National Interest.

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Further, a bomber such as the H-6J would be extremely vulnerable to ship-launched from US Navy fifth-generation aircraft and would be easily seen by drones and networked ground surveillance systems, wrote Kris Osborn.

An aircraft as large as the H-6J could also be vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire coming from surface ships, depending upon how low it was flying to lay mines in littoral areas, according to the National Interest.

On the other hand, if the United States operates its amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers in the region along with the sea-launched fifth-generation aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35B and F-35C stealth fighters then it would likely make it extremely difficult for large Chinese bombers to operate under such circumstances.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split in 1949.

Despite being governed separately for more than seven decades, China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.

On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island.

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