The intercepts between Chinese fighter jets and those of other countries, including the one that took place last week with a U.S. fighter plane over the South China Sea, would not occur without approval from the top of the Chinese political system — the Politburo Standing Committee — China expert and foreign affairs analyst Gordon Chang told Newsmax Wednesday.
"We have got to remember that this most recent intercept took place on May 26," Chang told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." "That date is significant because, on May 26, 2022, there was a dangerous intercept of an Australian P-8, also over the South China Sea."
Such anniversaries are important to China's regime, so the recent aggression against the U.S. jet was "no accident," said Chang. "This had to come from the top in Beijing."
The Pentagon said Tuesday that the Chinese J-16 aircraft carried out an "unnecessarily aggressive" maneuver and forced the U.S. RC-135 plane to fly through its wake turbulence.
Beijing responded Wednesday to the complaints from the United States by demanding an end to American reconnaissance aircraft flights in the international airspace over the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently called on his top national security officials to consider potential worst-case scenarios, and Chang told Newsmax that's because "China is going to go to war."
"I don't know how else you can put this," he said. "This is a regime that wants to go to war. It knows better, but nonetheless, there is a blood lust there. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, in testimony to the Senate said, 'well, you know nothing's inevitable.'
"Well, yeah, nothing's inevitable."
But, Chang added, "how many times do you have a militant regime [be] on this breakneck buildup and it doesn't go to war?"
Xi, he added, is referring to the term "worst circumstances," but at the same time, nobody will be attacking China.
"If there's going to be worse consequences, it means that China is going to attack somebody and that somebody, although this is inconceivable to the Biden administration, that somebody could be us," Chang said.
Xi may also consider that war is a "viable option" if there is no other way to escape his nation's problems, including economics, food shortages, unemployment, and more, said Chang.
"I think that the regime's only feeling is that the only way out for it is to go to war," said Chang. "I could be wrong, but on the other hand, we are seeing so many signs, including the most recent one, which is the Chinese military is now purging general officers who are opposed to war."
Beijing also this week rejected an invitation for its defense chiefs to meet with U.S. counterparts, including nixing a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who is scheduled to address the Shangri-La Dialogue in Shanghai on Saturday, and Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu. Chang told Newsmax he questions why the Biden administration would try to call the meetings.
"The Biden administration should not try to have a conversation with someone that the U.S. has sanctioned," said Chang. "What that has done is it showed the Chinese regime that the United States is feeble because we won't even adhere to our own sanctions."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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