• The US Navy has salvaged the wreckage of an F-35C military stealth fighter jet from the South China Sea.
  • The aircraft crashed after failing to land on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Jan 24, injuring the pilot and six sailors.
  • The wrecked $117M aircraft was retrieved from a depth of 12,400 feet and will be delivered to a US military installation for further investigation.
  • Chinese salvage ships were seen leaving port headed towards the crash zone at the start of February. The US were reportedly tracking these vessels even though China expressed no interest in recovering the aircraft.
  • Five American sailors were also charged with violating military law when leaked video footage of the crash surfaced on social media.
  • The salvage comes as the US reiterates its commitment to Taiwan following the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent rise in global tensions.


Anti-China narrative

This recovery operation was a striking success for the US Navy, beating China to the punch. The complex salvage lasted 37 days and demonstrates US committment to safeguarding its assets--especially considering the wrecked jet could've fallen into China's hands and provided Beijing with important military intelligence.

Pro-China narrative

This isn't the first US military accident in the region - the nation should be promoting peace rather than saber rattling. Instead of being a trouble maker and an accident maker, the US should thoughtfully engage with China to promote true stability.

Establishment split



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