The B-52 Stratofortress has been a formidable part of the U.S. military since the 1950s.

A defense expert says the U.S. decision to deploy six B-52 nuclear-capable bombers in northern Australia is a practical sign of the superpower’s deterrence strategy towards Beijing.

Michael Shoebridge, the director of Strategic Analysis Australia, told The Epoch Times that the move was part of the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review.

The comments come in response to Beijing warning the U.S. against the deployment, with Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying such a move “escalates regional tensions, gravely undermines regional peace and stability, and may trigger an arms race in the region.”

However, Shoebridge said Beijing’s reaction demonstrated the CCP was aware that deterrence measures would complicate their plans.

“Beijing’s reaction shows they understand that extended deterrence is being revitalized, and that complicates their aggressive plans,” he said. “That’s good news.”

Shoebridge warned, though, that more work was needed.

“More steps from the U.S. and its allies and partners are needed to reset the military balance and demonstrate that the costs and uncertainties of war, making starting one a bad idea for [Chinese leader] Xi and his Party-owned PLA,” he said.

The deployment of the B-52s comes as the U.S. deploys capabilities throughout the region most notably in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Guam.


Work is underway on dedicated facilities at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal, which is located three-and-a-half hours south of Australia’s northernmost city of Darwin.

U.S. officials have drawn up plans for a “squadron operations facility” a maintenance centre, and parking space for six B-52 bombers, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reported. The cost is expected to reach US$100 million.

The B-52 Stratofortress has been a formidable part of the U.S. military since the 1950s. The aircraft is able to fly extremely long distances without refuelling (8,800 miles) while carrying a massive payload (70,000 pounds), including nuclear weapons.

The comments from China come after U.S. Admiral Mike Gilday, chief of U.S. naval operations, said there was a chance of imminent war in the Asia-pacific.

“If I look at the trends from, let’s say, 2018 to now in how we talk about China, in the 2018 NDS [National Defense Strategy] we really talked about Great Power competition, and that was a focus. And now, based on what we’re seeing from an increasingly aggressive China and Russia … we have our eyes on preparing for a potential fight tonight, he said.

“I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean at all to be alarmist by saying that. It’s just that we can’t wish that away.”

The admiral noted that the U.S. military was paying particular attention to how the Chinese regime was behaving rather than what it was saying.

“What we’ve seen over the past 20 years is that they have delivered on every promise they’ve made earlier than they said they were going to deliver on it,” he said. “When we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind, that has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window.

The comments by the naval commander come after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Good Morning America on Oct. 19 that he believed Beijing would seek to invade Taiwan on a “much faster timeline.”

Blinken said the Chinese regime would not necessarily attempt direct military engagement but by alterting the status quo and resorting to coercive means.

“For many, many years, there was a basic understanding when it came to Taiwan. Whatever differences existed between Beijing and Taiwan would be resolved peacefully,” Blinken said.

“What changed is this: a decision that was made in Beijing some years ago that that was no longer acceptable and that the government wanted to speed up the reunification, and to do it potentially by any means, through coercion and pressure and potentially, if necessary, by force.”


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