As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Beijing this week, preaching the virtues of “peaceful resolution” of disputes between the neighbours in the South China Sea, fighter jets belonging to Chinese ‘People’s Liberation Army’ carried out aggressive manoeuvres against a US plane.

According to the U.S. Pacific Command, the reconnaissance plane was on a routine mission over the East China Sea when two Chinese J-10 fighters attempted an “unsafe intercept”, making it the second incident of this kind to take place in less than three weeks. Earlier in May, two Chinese fighter jets flew within 15 meters of a US reconnaissance plane flying over the South China Sea.

As President Obama set about to reduce the U.S. footprint in the world and divert country’s military preparedness to chase the spectre of Climate Change — seven years ago, Communist China has been investing in a massive project to build and militarise artificial islands beyond its recognised maritime borders. China now contests 80 percent of the South China Sea, staking its control over one of the busiest maritime route in the world.

But don’t expect Kerry to give the “lion’s roar” in Beijing, warning the Chinese leadership of consequences for their aggressive actions. Well, he did warn the Chinese; urging them to reduce their emissions, or (in Kerry’s own words) their “cities are going to be in the eye of the climate change storm”. In Kerry’s world these climate warnings would really get Beijing bosses shaking in their boots.

The fact that China is investing billions of dollars in artificial islands built just above the sea level, tells you all you need to know about what Beijing thinks of Obama-Kerry’s Climate Change Scare.

Russia too has been flexing mussels after sensing America’s weakened resolve. In April, a US Navy destroyer was “buzzed” no less than 15 times by Russian fighter jets over the Baltic Sea. The News Corp Australia reports yesterday’s incident:

The latest incident took place on Tuesday in international airspace when, according to the US Pacific Command, two Chinese J-10 fighter planes carried out an “unsafe” intercept of a US spy plane on a routine patrol.

“One of the intercepting Chinese jets had an unsafe excessive rate of closure on the (American) aircraft,” Pacific Command said in a statement.

“Initial assessment is that this seems to be a case of improper airmanship, as no other provocative or unsafe manoeuvres occurred.” (…) In May, the Pentagon said two Chinese fighter jets flew within 15m of a US EP-3 aircraft over the South China Sea.

The Pentagon said that incident was a violation of an agreement the two governments signed in 2015 after another close encounter.

China’s militarisation of international waters and its encroachment over maritime routes is a huge cause of concern for Asian countries like Japan, Indian and Taiwan. Addressing the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an explicit reference to China as he talked about the “freedom of navigation on seas,” alluding to the China’s encroachment on maritime routes running through the South China Sea.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, a strong America has been the greatest deterrent against the tyrants and the best guarantor of peace across the world. With President Obama now engaged in quixotic wars against Climate Change and Islamophobia, bullies of the world are free to carve up their neighbourhoods as they see fit.

Russian invasion of Crimea; the establishment of Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq; Iran’s military adventures across the Middle East; and Chinese encroachments — are all ignominious sounds of geopolitical vacuums being filled by tyrants, as U.S. abdicates the leadership of the Free World.

VIDEO: Chinese jets buzz US plane

[Cover image h/t CCTV, YouTube] [Author is Indian analyst based in Europe]