The US Marine Corps did not mince words when deploying F-35s to Japan, saying that the “arrival of the F-35B embodies our commitment to the defense of Japan and the regional security of the Pacific.”
Tensions among the US, US allies, and China have been steadily mounting for years as China builds artificial islands and outfits them with radar outposts and missile launchers in the South China Sea, home to a shipping corridor that sees $5 trillion in trade annually.
One area where the US and China have indirectly competed has been in combat aviation.
In November, China debuted the Chengdu J-20, a large, stealthy jet that some have compared to the F-22 Raptor. But according to experts, the J-20 is not a fighter, not a dogfighter, not stealthy, and not at all like the F-22 or F-35.
Davis characterized the J-20 as “high-speed, long-range, not quite as stealthy (as US fifth-gen aircraft), but [the Chinese] clearly don’t see that as important.”
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Featured image courtesy of Times ASI.