US faces military challenge from rising China

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China’s military potential has grown tremendously in the last 20 years. While China is pouring resources into weapons allegedly designed to target American forces, the United States expresses its growing concerns over the rapid modernization of the People’s Liberation Army.

“China is showing itself to be particularly interested in projecting military power in support of territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. Weapons that empower China to take decisive military action in support of such claims could escalate a regional crisis into a larger one involving Washington,” writes Kyle Mizokami in his ‘Five Chinese Weapons of War America Should Fear’ article in the National Interest.

The expert stresses that China recognizes the potential for conflict with the United States and prepares itself for limiting the abilities of the US Army to operate near the Chinese mainland. The Chinese have developed a “counter-intervention” complex, described as “anti-access/area denial” (A2/AD) by western analysts. The A2/AD weaponry has got the power to expel NATO forces from China’s innermost defense zone of the “First Island Chain”, including Kuril Islands, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Borneo, according to Kyle Mizokami.

The expert points out five Chinese weapons, which gives the People’s Republic unquestionable strategic advantage in the Asia-Pacific region and which the United States fears most. It is, for instance, “the Carrier Killer”, a medium range ballistic missile land-based system DF-21D with an estimated range of up to 1,500+km.

The other one is the fifth-generation fighter, the J-20, which may operate far off China’s coast, intercepting attack and bomber aircrafts including F/A-18 fighter bombers and B-1 and B-2 bombers.

Chinese Anti-Satellite weaponry could target a variety of American satellites, including intelligence collection, communications, and navigation satellites, according to the expert.

China gained a significant advantage in the sea, writes Mizokami, after it had built and deployed several amphibious assault ships of the Type 071 class. The ships can transport up to a battalion of marines—roughly 400 to 800 troops—and up to eighteen armored vehicles.

The last but not the least of potential threats that China poses to the US is cyber weaponry. The People’s Liberation Army is capable of launching offensive operations in cyberspace, notes Kyle Mizokami.

“China’s main cyber unit appears to be the General Staff Department, Third Department. Roughly analogous to the U.S. National Security Agency, the Third Department may have as many as 130,000 personnel, attached to Chinese military units, twelve operational bureaus, and three research institutes. Within the Third Department is the Second Bureau, also known as 61398 Unit, tasked for operations involving the United States,” writes the expert.

Although Kyle Mizokami is convinced that the US-China military conflict is not inevitable, he stresses that increased military strength “may tempt China to decisively settle longstanding claims—or create new ones.”

“One thing is for certain, he stresses, they [five weapons] put the ball in China’s court.”

It should be noted that the article of Kyle Mizokami in the National Interest has sparked a heated debate among the readers. The most popular comment, posted by a user called Mike, reads: “Irony is staring at us eyeball to eyeball. If the US had not shipped its industrial plant to China and sent its entire middle class into extinction, they’d still be sweeping dirt streets with tree branches in Beijing. We did this to ourselves by allowing the globalists to use this nation as a warehouse for whatever they wanted to put elsewhere… our jobs, our factories, our everything.”

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