China’s military drills around Taiwan are now expected to be the “new normal,” Chinese State Media announced. But, is there a silver lining the US intelligence could explore in these military exercises?

According to Singapore-based security analyst Collin Koh, yes, there is.

As China continues to parade its naval warships and missiles, Koh said this could be an opportunity to monitor “key Chinese elements – China’s reformed Eastern Theatre Command, its Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force – operating together in a fully coordinated and integrated way.”

“I fully expect the US to be collecting from a full spectrum – signals, communications and electronic intelligence – it is just a too good opportunity to miss.”

“When you collect this kind of data from the other side, it means you can figure out where the vulnerabilities are, and it helps you create your own counter and jamming systems,” Koh told Reuters.

The USS Ronald Reagan
The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), a Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier of the United States Navy (USN) as seen from the SM by the Bay Amusement Park. (Source: Rhk111/Wikimedia)

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, the US Navy moved the USS Ronald Raegan into the Philippines Sea, east of Taiwan. So, ultimately, the US had the proximity to observe and spy on the latest Chinese naval advancements.

Two US military officials also shared they’re considering data gathering opportunities during the drills but also cautioned about the limitation of “in-depth intelligence” this could offer.

Of course, an anonymous military official said that China would also be careful in displaying its full force for the world to see. If they will show the world weaponry, it’s highly likely that they will only deploy the ones that are already publicly known.