China sends fighter jets to Thailand for joint military exercises
The Chinese Air Force is sending fighter jets and bombers to Thailand on Sunday for a joint exercise with the Thai military.
The training will include air support, strikes on ground targets and small and large-scale troop deployment, China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
The expansion of China’s military activities in the Asia-Pacific region has alarmed the United States and its allies and is part of growing competition between the world’s two largest economies.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Thailand in June as part of an effort to strengthen what he called the unprecedented US network of alliances and partnerships in the region.
The Falcon Strike exercise will be held at the Royal Thai Air Base in Udorn, northern Thailand, near the border with Laos. Thai fighter jets and airborne early warning aircraft from both countries will also participate.
The training comes as the United States holds combat exercises in Indonesia with Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Singapore in the largest iteration of the Super Garuda Shield exercises since their launch in 2009.
It also follows China sending warships, missiles and planes into the waters and air around Taiwan in a threatening response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. , on the self-governing island, which China claims as its territory.
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