US war games a threat to regional peace: China Daily editorial
The United States has begun what are reportedly its largest military exercises since 1981. The globe-spanning drills come hard on the heels of a joint military exercise with Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom in the Asia-Pacific region, led by the US Indo-Pacific Command.
The so-called Large-Scale Exercise 2021 began on Aug 3 and will conclude on Aug 16. It spans 17 time zones and involves at least 36 ships, 50 virtual units and 25,000 troops from the US Navy and Marines.
It is widely believed that apart from the US flexing its muscles, the drills are also intended to send a message to China and Russia that the US can handle simultaneous challenges on multiple fronts, namely, the Black Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the South and East China seas.
In fact, both China and Russia have no intention of challenging the military supremacy of the US. But the pair will not be daunted by the US saber-rattling. They are big countries and have wide and multitudinous interests, including those overseas, to safeguard.
The heightened US strategic pressure on China and Russia will only strengthen the two countries' resolve to enhance their military capabilities and upgrade their combat readiness so as to better defend their strategic interests.
In response to the US provocation, China and Russia are staging their own military exercises, and China is also holding military drills from Aug 6 to Aug 10 in an area in the South China Sea between Hainan Island and Xisha Islands.
Considering that Russia and China both have nuclear capabilities, the risks of running into a head-on military conflict with one of them, even on a limited scale, could have disastrous consequences. China has pledged no first use of nuclear weapons, but the US has never made the same commitment.
With the US seemingly making preparations for destructive scenarios in both Asia and Europe, China and Russia need to be prepared for and try to deter any aggressive moves by the US and its allies.
Apart from exacerbating strategic competition with Russia and China, the increasingly frequent, intensive and large-scale war games that the US is staging also run counter to the aspirations of peace-loving people around the world.
The world is far from peaceful, but the best solution to cope with regional and global challenges is still through peaceful means. As the world's sole superpower, the US, instead of stoking confrontations around the world, should really behave like a responsible country.