China is sending its fighter jets and bombers to Thailand for new aerial military drills namely Falcon Strike 2022, in retaliation for the recently concluded military drills between the US and Indonesia.
While US military drills with Indonesia are held annually, this time, more than 5,000 military personnel from 14 countries took part in the drills, which worried the Chinese stakeholders. Some notable countries that took part in these exercises included Australia, Japan, and Singapore.
Military experts are insisting that the US has provoked China by changing its nuclear deterrence policy, which is expected to draw significant opposition from both Russia and China.
Recently, the chief of the US Strategic Command, Adm. Charles A. Richard, announced that America is “furiously” recalibrating its nuclear deterrence approach amid the rising hostility from Russia and China. While Richards felt accomplished after averting a nuclear war with Russia despite Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, he claimed that rising Chinese ambitions are intensifying the political temperature in the Asia-Pacific region, which is likely to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war.
China is also expected to take some significant decisions about its nuclear policy after America’s attempt to rewrite its nuclear deterrence doctrine. Last year, China has already tested its hypersonic missiles that circumnavigated the Earth at such a low distance that all the global radars failed to detect it.
By training with Thailand, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will be able to get hands-on knowledge about the western military machinery, as Thailand imports most of its weaponry from the west.
This year Falcon Strike will focus on large-scale troop deployment using aerial methods, air support and training for ground offensive as well. Chinese weaponry going to Thailand include six J-10C/S fighter jets, one JH-7AI fighter-bomber, and one Shaanxi KJ-500 aircraft capable of giving early warnings in any military offensive.
Likewise, Thailand’s Royal Thai Air force (RTAF) will use its state-of-the-art machinery, including Gripen aircraft, AlphaJet attack aircraft, and SAAB 340 AEW early warning and control fighter jets.
Beijing asserted that these military drills are necessary to build mutual trust amid the hyper tensed geopolitical environment in the region.
After seeing the rising inclination of Thailand towards China, US Strategic experts are worried about their failed foreign policy. Just two months ago, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Thailand and bragged about the “unparalleled network of alliances and partnerships” within the region. But Thailand and China have overlapping cultural backgrounds, which brought both countries together.
Chinese military experts pointed out that this is the first time that the communist nation is sending JH-7A1 bombers to Thailand drills. While both the countries started these military exercises in 2015, it was last conducted in 2019 before they were stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These aerial military drills are in addition to the recently concluded naval drills of China, which sparked concerns about the supply chain disruptions due to the bottlenecks in the Taiwan Strait.