WASHINGTON, D.C. – China’s recent military expansion – which has seen the eastern Asian country increase the scope of its nuclear weapon stockpile, space program, and cyber and missile technology – has the Pentagon sitting up and taking notice.
With China seeking to do away with the United States’ predominance in the Asia-Pacific region and amid escalating tensions with Taiwan, the second highest-ranking American military officer – General John Hyten – noted that a potential shift in the global balance of power is China’s likely end goal.
“The pace at which China is moving is stunning,” Hyten said.
While placing themselves as a more central player on the world stage would present little in the way of threat to the United States, it would, however, prove to be difficult when it comes to other Asian countries that the U.S. has alliances with.
In order to deal with any potential issues that would arise from a more dominant China – which, by reports, is growing their military, tech, and political reach at an unbelievably fast rate – the Biden Administration appears to be reviewing their own military policies on multiple fronts, including nuclear weapons, positioning of troops on a worldwide stage, and the overall American defensive strategy.
The most recent development out of China that has the attention of U.S. military head honchos are reports that the country had conducted a space-based hypersonic missile test this past August, allegations that China’s Foreign Ministry issued an official denial on.
However, John Kirby – Press secretary for the Department of Defense – has stated that the Pentagon sees China as a major competitor when it comes to the development of hypersonic weaponry, which are delivery systems that can fly many times the speed of sound.
But according to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, hypersonic weapon tests are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to China’s recent military ramp-up.
“That’s just one weapon system,” Milley said. “The Chinese military capabilities are much greater than that. They’re expanding rapidly in space, in cyber and then in the traditional domains of land, sea and air.”
During the Trump Administration, China was elevated in 2018 to the United States’ list of defense priorities – which also includes Russia – beating out terrorism as the primary threat to the country.