In an attempt to drive away a hovering US spy aircraft, two Chinese fighter jets last month crossed a line in the center of the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial air boundary between the two
countries territories, much to the dismay of Taiwanese officials.
But the US military has no plans to back off. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has vowed to press ahead with surveillance flights near China — although his spokesperson claims his statement was generally referring to the US right to conduct these reconnaissance flights in international space, not the June 29 incident.
Sino-US tensions are further stiffened by the prospect of the United States resuming arm sales to Taiwan:
China severed military ties with the United States for most of 2010, furious about a package of US arms sales to Taiwan worth up to $6.4 billion.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told Sen. John Cornyn that she will announce on Oct. 1 whether the United States will answer a call from Taiwan for more F-16 fighter jets, an aide to the senator told Reuters.
Cornyn had delayed Senate confirmation of a senior State Department appointment in a tactic to force Clinton to review a request from Taiwan for the aircraft.
It seems as though the US military’s uncompromising attitude on sending surveillance flights to Mainland turf has prompted China to take matters into its own hands.
According to a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, China is developing EMPs to use against US aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan.
EMPs, also known as electromagnetic pulse weapons, mimic a gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast and can disable all electronics, including computers and automobiles.
Hey, at least they’ll be free from escalator mishaps, right?
By Esther Kang