The US just put China on notice by making the first-ever permanent forward deployment of US Marine Corps F-35Bs to Iwakuna, Japan.
But while the plane has revolutionary radar-evading capability, China has some tricks up its sleeve as well.
The F-35B has only just gone online with initial operational capability. Basing them in Asia, where China and the incoming Trump administration have already butted heads and borne their teeth at each other, shows that the US means business when it comes to a balance of power in the Pacific.
“The arrival of the F-35B embodies our commitment to the defense of Japan and the regional-security of the Pacific,” said Maj. Gen. Russell Sanborn, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Commanding General, in a Marine Corps statement. “We are bringing the most advanced technology to the Pacific to respond to the wide range of missions we take part in and provide greater support to our regional allies.”