Headlines: Signs of the move to war
These stories were discussed by Tru News yesterday.
None of these stories has appeared in US or much of the mainstream international media. You would think we are about to go to war and yet there is no hint of this anywhere.
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The US Air Force has deployed three B-2 stealth bombers to the tiny island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean for the first time since 2016, as China continues to ramp up its live-fire military exercises.
The American B-2A nuclear-capable Spirit bombers took off on Tuesday from the Whiteman air force base in Missouri, flew across northern Australia and on to the militarised atoll that forms part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The aircraft were refuelled in the air several times, according to information from the US military.
The last time the bombers were deployed to Diego Garcia, which lies about 1,200km (745 miles) south of the Maldives, was four years ago during a period of tension in the South China Sea after an international arbitration tribunal rejected Beijing’s claims to the disputed waters.
A major military unit responsible for the defence of southern China has stepped up combat-readiness training in the last few weeks as US warplanes have mounted more frequent close-up reconnaissance missions.
The People’s Liberation Army’s 75th Group Army, based in the southwestern city of Kunming, has conducted a series of live-fire and anti-aircraft drills since late July, according to state media.
The most recent exercise was in the southern province of Guangdong and involved four self-propelled anti-aircraft guns firing rapidly on targets identified by radar units, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Tuesday.
Battalion commander Yang Hu told CCTV that the exercise tested troops in “equipment operation, air enemy detection and coordination between officers and soldiers under combat conditions”.
“This ensures that we can detect, collaborate and strike, as soon as the enemy appears,” Yang said.
The 75th Group Army’s artillery brigade also worked on its combat readiness in a series of day and night live-fire exercises in late July.
As the US health secretary was making a high-profile visit to Taiwan, troops from the Chinese mainland delivered a “serious warning” to supporters of independence for the self-ruled island with a series of military drills on its doorstep.
The exercises were conducted by the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the mainland from Taiwan, and to the north and south of the island, according to the command’s spokesman, Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui.
“Recently, some major powers have persisted in a negative trend on the Taiwan issue, sending a serious and negative signal to those Taiwanese independence forces, and seriously threatening the safety and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” he said on Thursday.
“The patrols and exercises by the command’s forces were a response to the security situation of the Taiwan Strait and a necessary measure to safeguard national sovereignty.”
China poses a threat to the West that is in some ways “worse” than that posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech to the Czech senate on Wednesday.
“What’s happening now isn’t Cold War 2.0. The challenge of resisting the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] threat is in some ways worse,” Pompeo said, using the first stop of his five-day visit to Central Europe to raise the prospect of Chinese world domination and remind his Czech hosts of their years under Soviet oppression.
“The CCP is already enmeshed in our economies, in our politics, in our societies in ways the Soviet Union never was.”