A U.S. Air Force RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle from the 432nd Wing out of Creech Air Force Base, Nev., takes off from the Rafael Hernandez Airport outside Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Jan. 28, 2010, for a mission in support of Operation Unified Response. Airmen from Creech Air Force Base are providing 24/7 full-motion video in real time to international relief workers on the ground in Haiti in order to speed up humanitarian aid in remote areas of the country. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development are providing aid and relief to Haitian citizens affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the region Jan. 12, 2010. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force/Released)
The United States and Japan are holding war games in what is seen as a message by the military powers to China.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
The Financial Times reported Wednesday that the Biden administration and top advisers to Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga are engaging in sensitive planning exercises to counter a potential invasion of Taiwan and other aggression in the South China Sea. The cooperation comes as the Chinese military launches an unprecedented buildup of aircraft carriers, advanced missile systems, and other lethal technologies. China has also put its military might to the test, flying record numbers of aircraft into Taiwanese airspace in June.
“In many ways, the People’s Liberation Army drove the U.S. and Japan together and toward new thinking on Taiwan,” said Randall Schriver, former president Trump’s Pentagon chief for Indo-Pacific affairs. “Assertiveness around the Senkaku and Taiwan at the same time drives home the issue of proximity.”
Top military officers have sounded the alarm on China’s growing ability to attack Taiwan. Retired admiral Phil Davidson, who oversaw the United States Indo-Pacific Command, told lawmakers in March that China may be able to attack the island country in four to six years. During Thursday festivities for the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping pledged to work toward the “reunification” of China and Taiwan, saying he would “smash” any attempts at resistance.
Ironclad support for Taiwan, however, is not universal among American lawmakers. A bill by House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats slashed diplomatic and military support for the country proposed by Republicans. And Republican hawks have told the Washington Free Beacon that the Biden administration’s 2022 defense budget request underfunds Navy and Pacific defense programs needed to confront China’s rise.
Japan would be seen as a key ally should the US ever enter a hot war with China.