The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) posted a video on social media showing Hong Kong air defense drills.
A military analyst told Hong Kong's leading dissident newspaper, Apple Daily, that the bizarre 48-second video was meant as a warning to the United States against interfering with China’s oppression of Hong Kong.
Anthony Wong of the International Military Association in Macau, expressed that the video was labeled with Hong Kong’s name in English instead of Mandarin, which he stated was a sign that its intended audience was the United States, as well as Chinese loyalists in Hong Kong.
There’s no question about it, it’s to show the U.S. and to show the ‘blue ribbons’ in Hong Kong, said Wong.
Hong Kong demonstrators wear colored ribbons to identify with causes and political factions in their country. For example, pro-democracy protesters wore yellow ribbons during the 2014 Umbrella Movement demonstrations, while supporters of the Hong Kong government and Beijing wore blue.
Wong said the PLA wanted to send a message to the U.S. that “if you come near Hong Kong, we won’t hold back.” He also referenced reports that American planes have been seen flying off the coast of southeastern China several times in the past few weeks.
Those planes are more than likely reconnaissance aircraft connected with U.S. freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. However, the PLA seems to push the narrative that the U.S. is getting ready to aid Hong Kong against China.
The PLA has been increasing the number of military drills across East Asia as relations with the U.S continue to deteriorate. This comes after two American aircraft carriers held an unusual exercise in the South China Sea in July. As well as after a mysterious visit to Taiwan this week by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Upon Azar's visit to Taiwan, Chinese state media angrily threatened to retaliate by holding live-fire missile drills near Taiwan and Guam, where the U.S. has a major airbase in the region. The editorial that made this threat was re-posted on the PLA’s English-language news website which is a another sign that China is directing its rhetoric directly at Americans and wants the U.S. to see its warnings.
A top Republican lawmaker who sits on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation recently predicted that a war with China was imminent.
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), armed conflict between the United States and China is imminent.
I would predict there will be a clash within the next three to six months, Yoho told the Washington Examiner.
The Florida Republican predicted that armed conflict will be triggered by a Chinese naval attack against the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which often commands a strong presence in the South China Sea, as Anewspost reported.
Knowing China, I think what they would do is ram one of our ships and say it was a mistake, Yoho told the Examiner.
To sink a carrier would be a huge mistake, to attack any of our ships would be a huge mistake, but I think they’re willing to risk that to test the waters, he explained. “And unfortunately, people will die. It would just be a mistake if they did that, for them.
Last year, Senior Chinese military official Dai Xu (戴旭), threatened U.S. Navy vessels in the South China Sea, recommending that China should attack the ships. This was after the U.S. sent a Navy destroyer the USS McCampbell into the contested Chinese waters, near the disputed islands in the South China Sea during ongoing trade talks in what China called a “provocation,” Reuters reported.
Xu recommended aggressive action against the U.S. if it “breaks into Chinese waters again” stating the following: “If the U.S. warships break into Chinese waters again, I suggest that two warships should be sent: one to stop it, and another one to ram it… In our territorial waters, we won’t allow US warships to create a disturbance,” Taiwan News reported.
Last year, China’s President Xi Jinping ordered the Chinese armed forces People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to enhance their combat readiness to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests after the U.S. had issued a travel warning to China stating Americans were at risk to arbitrary and indefinite detention.
The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development, Xi said, to the Central Military Commission (CMC) warning that various risks and challenges were on the rise. The entire armed forces should have a correct understanding of China’s security and development trends, enhance their awareness of danger, crisis and war, and make solid efforts on combat preparations in order to accomplish the tasks assigned by the Party and the people,” Xi added according to a press release.
The war drums seem to be beating loudly between the U.S. and China, and Hong Kong could be the trigger that starts the conflict.