U.S. Air Force and Navy May Challenge China in the South China Sea


Air Force Secretary Deborah James said the service will likely conduct new freedom of navigation flights in the skies above the South China Sea in response to China’s continued militarization and artificial “island-building” in the area.

“We will exercise our freedom of navigation in the air,’ James told reporters.

Calling China’s behavior “worrisome,” James addressed many lingering complexities regarding the US-China relationship, indicating it was characterized by both tension and cooperation.

Following a two-week trip through Asia involving numerous meetings with Asian allies, James was unambiguous in her statement that China does not appear to be stopping its effort to expand its territorial dominion through the construction of man-made “island-like” structures in contested areas of the South China Sea.