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Chinese military expansion raises stakes of challenge to the U.S.

H-6K bomber with Chinese flag
H-6K bombers fly in formation during a military parade at Zhurihe military training base. Photo: Cui Nan/CHINA NEWS SERVICE/VCG via Getty Images

A Chinese H-6K bomber landed on Woody Island in the Parcels last week — the first time a Chinese military aircraft has touched down on one of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, and a strong assertion of sovereignty by Beijing.

Why it matters: China is not only restoring its place as the dominant power in Asia, but also extending its presence and influence far beyond. Along the way, it has become the most significant global competitor the U.S. has ever faced.