China has escalated its psychological warfare (psych-war) against the United States by inviting US pilots to view the wreckage of a U-2 spy plane shot down decades ago.
The Military Museum of The Chinese People's Revolution released a letter on its Sina Weibo account on Thursday inviting US pilots to visit the U-2 wreckage displayed in the museum.
The letter came after a US spy plane, the U-2 high altitude reconnaissance plane, intruded China's no-fly zone, which was established by the Northern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the live-fire drills on Tuesday, Chinese media reported.
"We will tell you that it was shot down by us more than half a century ago!" the Beijing-based museum wrote in the letter. In the letter, the museum said that the PLA air force used to shoot down U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircrafts many times throughout history, and how the PLA air force fought against the high-altitude reconnaissance operations from the Kuomintang (KMT) side, which the US had supported, Global Times reported.
"We were able to lay down the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance plane 58 years ago, and we will surely be able to shoot down any fighters that invade China's territorial airspace," the museum wrote in the letter.
The letter appears inspired by a campaign runby Chinese netizens who reacted to the overfly by the USAF U-2 plane by running an on-line campaign, "you are welcome to visit the U-2 wreckage." Many tagged the Weibo account of the US Embassy in China and said, "Welcome, it is ok if the US wants to provide some new exhibits," after a netizen named Shuangfunanshou commented.
"It is time to change to a newer U-2 for the museum," another netizen, Meiyinamiusi said.
China has repeated used psychological warfare to scare its opponents. Recently during the Galwan standoff against India, the PLA frequently released photos and videos of its forces practicing for high altitude warfare using the latest weapons in its inventory.
The regular over-flights of PLA fighter jets and sailing by its warships around Taiwan has become a regular feature of Beijing’s policy towards Taipei - not to attack the renegade province but to scare it militarily.
It appears to be trying the same tactic against the US whose military is vastly superior to the PLA in almost every department of warfighting. But by regular US exercises in China’s backyard it appears this tactic is far from working.
On its part the US too appears to be steeping up its psychological warfare against the PLA by holding frequently holding exercises in the SCS disputed waters. The exercises involve US aircraft carriers armed with enough aircraft and weapons to sustain several battles against China. The intention seems to be to get the message of strong arm tactics across to Beijing- a take off of the infamous 'gun boat diplomacy,' that Washington has come to be known for.