PLAAF plans to extend control to Western Pacific: report


The People’s Liberation Army Air Force intend to expand their area of control to the Western Pacific, according to a report by Vassily Kashin, senior research fellow at the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, published on Moscow-based Sputnik News, cited by China’s nationalistic tabloid Global Times.

The source of the report is a leaked PLA Air Force report that the editorial team at Tokyo-based Kyodo News claim to have seen and which was subsequently heavily reported on in China’s state media reports, which the Global Times cited as evidence that the aims laid out in the report are realizable.

The objectives and mission laid out in the report will not be a surprise to the international community, as the PLA have already made clear moves in this direction. The PLA’s navy and air force have been increasingly active in the area between what the Chinese military call the “first island chain”– used to refer to the string of archipelagos extending from the south of Japan and its Ryukyu islands, Taiwan and the Philippines-and the “second island chain”-stretching from the Honshu in Japan, arcing through the Bonin islands, the Marianas islands and the Caroline islands to New Guinea. Last week China’s new long-range H-6K bomber began to venture beyond the first island chain. This enables them to potentially fire on targets in southern Japan, which has relatively weak anti-aircraft capabilities. It would also allow them the capability to attack US bases in the Pacific.

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