China’s air force has released a video showing nuclear-capable H-6 bombers carrying out a simulated attack on what appears to be Andersen Air Force Base on the US Pacific island of Guam, as regional tensions rise.
The video, released on Saturday on the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s Weibo account, came as China carried out a second day of drills near Chinese-claimed Taiwan, to express anger at the visit of a senior US state department official to Taipei.
Guam is home to major US military facilities, including the air base, which would be key to responding to any conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Chinese air force’s two minute and 15 second video, set to solemn, dramatic music like a trailer for a Hollywood movie, shows H-6 bombers taking off from a desert base. The video is called “The god of war H-6K goes on the attack!”
Halfway through, a pilot presses a button and looses off a missile at an unidentified seaside runway. The missile homes in on the runway, a satellite image of which looks exactly like the layout of Andersen. The music suddenly stops as images of the ground shaking appear, followed by aerial views of an explosion.
“We are the defenders of the motherland’s aerial security; we have the confidence and ability to always defend the security of the motherland’s skies,” the air force wrote in a brief description for the video.
Neither China’s defence ministry nor US Indo-Pacific Command immediately responded to requests for comment on the video.
Collin Koh, a research fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, said the video was aimed at highlighting China’s growing prowess in long-range power projection.
“The video is meant to warn the Americans that even supposedly safe, rearward positions such as Guam may come under threat when conflicts over regional flashpoints, be it Taiwan or South China Sea, erupt,” he said.