China is developing a new long-range bomber, the head of China’s air force announced Friday. The Chinese state-run Global Times reported Ma Xiaotian said the country has improved its ability to strike foreign targets and that a “new generation” bomber will be seen “in the future,” but did not provide any details about the program, according to Reuters. In a white paper released last year, China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force said it will continue to bolster its strategic projection capabilities among others as it shifts from a “territorial air defense strategy” to one that includes offensive measures. In August, China flew a fleet of bombers, fighters, and other aircraft over the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea as a show of force in the area where tensions remain high. (See also: China Expansion.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.