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US, UK, Australia hold high-end joint air combat exercise to simulate China’s aggression

The U.S., British and Australian forces held a joint air combat exercise at Nellis Air Force Base in the western state of Nevada on Wednesday (February 8, 2023), simulating a high-end air battle after China launched a war of aggression.

This is part of the “Red Flag” series of high-end air combat exercises regularly hosted by the U.S. Air Force.

In September 2021, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia reached a trilateral security agreement called “AUKUS”. Respond to China’s expansion of its sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific region by relying on its increasingly powerful naval power.

U.S. Air Force Colonel Hutchinson, commander of the “Red Flag” series of high-end air combat exercises, said the air combat exercise was not directly related to any recent incidents, but said, “China is the looming challenge we face. We train to be ready. We think if we’re ready for China, we’re ready for anybody.”

A commander of the British Royal Air Force who participated in the joint air combat exercise said that this high-end air combat exercise simulated the deployment of the air forces of the three countries to an “area invaded by a hostile country”, focusing on training and improving the ability of the three air forces to coordinate operations.

The commander did not mention China or specify where the invaded areas were.

The U.S. government has made responding to China’s military challenges the primary strategic priority of the U.S. military. The National Defense Authorization Act has also previously required the Ministry of Defense to include the defense of Taiwan in the “Red Flag” series of high-end air combat exercises.

Nellis Air Force Base is one of the most important training bases of the U.S. Air Force and is known as the “home of fighter pilots.”

In 2011, Chen Bingde, chief of the PLA General Staff, visited the sensitive military facility as part of U.S.-China military exchanges. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, then chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, publicly issued a statement criticizing the Pentagon for allowing Chinese military officials to visit sensitive U.S. military installations, especially Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada (Nellis Air Force Base). She said at the time that the Chinese military openly viewed the United States as an enemy. The United States should not think that it can turn an enemy into a friend with enthusiasm and friendliness, thus harming the security interests of the United States.

Military exchanges between the two countries have been suspended for years as relations between the United States and China have deteriorated, fueling fears of a future military conflict between the two superpowers.

According to a recently released document, General Michael Minihan, commander of the US Air Force Air Mobility Command (Air Mobility Command), predicted in a memo that the US and China would go to war in two years.

“I hope I’m wrong. But my gut tells me we’re going to war in 2025,” he said.