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New missile gap leaves U.S. scrambling to counter China, in shift that leaves Japan at risk

The Japan Times

ZHUHAI, CHINA - China's powerful military is considered to be a master at concealing its intentions. But there is no secret about how it plans to destroy American aircraft carriers if rivalry becomes war. At November's biennial air show in the southern city of Zhuhai, the biggest state-owned missile maker, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Ltd., screened an animation showing a hostile "blue force," comprising an aircraft carrier, escort ships and strike aircraft, approaching "red force" territory. On a giant screen, the animation showed a barrage of the Chinese company's missiles launched from "red force" warships, submarines, shore batteries and aircraft wreaking havoc on the escort vessels around the carrier. In a final salvo, two missiles plunge onto the flight deck of the carrier and a third slams into the side of the hull near the bow. The fate of the ship is an unmistakable message to an America that has long dominated the globe from its mighty aircraft carriers and sprawling network of hundreds of bases.


How difficult would it be for China to invade Taiwan?

Al Jazeera

The invasion of Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), has been considered by Chinese military planners for decades but only under President Xi Jinping have observers worried this might be increasingly likely. Taiwan, formerly the island of Formosa, was the last bastion that held out against Mao Zedong's victorious Communist army after elements of the defeated nationalist Kuomintang military retreated to the eastern island in 1949. Threats of military action against the breakaway province have escalated during times when some Taiwanese political parties have debated whether to declare independence. The democratic, self-ruled island has no seat at the United Nations and has not had one for 50 years. President Xi's rise, with his focus on centralised control and a new, professionally-run, modern military, has set off alarm bells around the world. This, combined with explicit rhetoric from China's president that "Taiwanese independence separatism" was "the most serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation" has refocused global attention on the possibility of China using force to take the island. The aggressive patrolling and overflights of Taiwanese airspace by aircraft from the Chinese air force have added a sense of urgency that this could very well happen in the near future.


Russia and China Are Starting a New Arms Race and the U.S. Has to Join

U.S. News

The most dangerous of the three is the hypersonic missile: this hypersonic rocket re-enters the atmosphere, then a glider pulls up to fly horizontally, unpowered, for up to thousands of miles at preliminary speeds in the high hypersonic range of Mach 10 to 20 (about 7,000 to 14,000 miles per hour). There is no defense against this type of missile. Aside from speed, the missile can travel close to the ground, and evade defenses; the highly vaunted Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system is incapable of hitting it. Russia is exploring missiles like the 3K22 Zircon system, while China is working on the Dongfeng 21D, often referred to as the aircraft "carrier killer," or the Dongfeng 41, which is potentially the longest range ICBM in the world. China may be able to have its missiles operational by 2020, and hope to have conventional versions that can target American naval assets in the Pacific.


New U.S. military budget focuses on 'China, China, China' over current wars and Russia

The Japan Times

To a remarkable degree, the 2020 Pentagon budget proposal is shaped by national security threats that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: "China, China, China." The U.S. is still fighting small wars against Islamic extremists, and Russia remains a serious concern, but Shanahan seeks to shift the military's main focus to what he considers the more pressing security problem of a rapidly growing Chinese military. This theme, which Shanahan outlined Thursday in presenting the administration's proposed 2020 defense budget to the Senate Armed Services Committee, is competing for attention with narrower, more immediate problems such as President Donald Trump's effort to use the military to build a border wall. The hearing, for example, spent more time on the wall and prospects for using military funds to build parts of it than on any aspect of foreign policy, including the conflict in Syria or military competition with China, Russia or North Korea. Shanahan is hardly the first defense chief to worry about China.


New U.S. military budget heavily focused on China despite lawmakers' border wall talk

Los Angeles Times

To a remarkable degree, the 2020 Pentagon budget proposal is shaped by national security threats that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: "China, China, China." The U.S. is still fighting small wars against Islamic extremists, and Russia remains a serious concern, but Shanahan seeks to shift the military's main focus to what he considers the more pressing security problem of a rapidly growing Chinese military. This theme, which Shanahan outlined Thursday in presenting the administration's proposed 2020 defense budget to the Senate Armed Services Committee, is competing for attention with narrower, more immediate problems such as President Trump's effort to use the military to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The hearing, for example, spent more time on the wall and prospects for using military funds to build parts of it than on any aspect of foreign policy, including the conflict in Syria or military competition with China, Russia or North Korea. Shanahan is hardly the first Defense chief to worry about China.