US and Australian forces had not only destroyed most of the valuable infrastructure in the Spratly Islands but moved their forces into the far more secure waters of the Philippine Islands, putting them in range to strike the Chinese homeland and open up bases for the air forces to utilize for strikes. Numerous bases were secretly opened up across the region ready to receive US and AU air power. The Eagles had come to face the Dragon.
China however was far from beaten. It had lost its ability to project power past the first chain but still held them, which was one of their big war aims. It still possessed great defensive strength and with US forces now in range of it could now decisively defeat US and Australian naval and air forces in one great decisive battle. Victory would eject the Americans and their allies from the region permanently. The final decisive battle was now at hand.