The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) navy carried out new simulated attack exercises, making their newly acquired bombers debut. 

Since last week, the CCP air force has been conducting live-fire drills and sending more fighter planes to its bases in the South China Sea. 

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong-based military spokesman Song Zhongping said the exercises were intended to send a warning to the United States Navy about its recent patrols in the area, as the bombers were designed to attack warships at sea.

As reported by the Chinese regime’s digital media Global Times, the simulation exercises involved new fighter planes affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, including the H-6G and H-6J bombers. The specific location of the exercises was not disclosed.

Colonel Ren Guoqiang said at a press conference with Chinese media on Thursday that during the drills, the fighter planes under the command of the PLA Southern Theater Command’s Navy Aviation Force successfully completed the training exercises. These include takeoffs and landings during the day and night, long-range attacks, and attacks on surface targets.

Military officials who spoke to Global Times said that personnel who participated in the training exercises demonstrated that they were very prepared for combat. This confirms that the H-6J bomber, which made its first public appearance this week, has the capability to carry out all-weather combat missions and is capable of accurately attacking moving maritime targets.

The drills, they said, were in response to U.S. Navy exercises in the disputed waters on July 16 involving two U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan.

Both carriers began operating in the region on July 4, as reported by media, when the United States conducted its first two-carrier exercise in the South China Sea for the past four years. There is increased tension with the CCP over its illegal invasion of international waters.

Background on the South China Sea

The CCP, under the presidency of Xi Jinping, embarked on an ambitious wave of island-building in the South China Sea, extending its claims to sovereignty over much of the area, defying the logical claims of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

Dodging all kinds of international agreements and norms, the CCP has deployed missiles and blockade equipment on artificial islands and challenged U.S. ships and aircraft operating in the region to ensure free movement.

Over the past weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again stated the Trump administration’s position on this issue in a message via Twitter: “The United States’ policy is crystal clear: The South China Sea is not China’s maritime empire. If Beijing violates international law and free nations do nothing, history shows the CCP will simply take more territory. China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law.