Thomas Gallatin / November 8, 2021

China Is Arming Up

General Mark Milley issues a sober warning following a Pentagon report on China’s growing military capabilities.

The Pentagon recently released a report on China’s military capabilities and development that should serve as a big wakeup call to the U.S. The report follows China’s successful hypersonic missile test that allegedly caught the U.S. by surprise, and it says in no uncertain terms that the communist nation is America’s number one military threat.

According to the report, Beijing has been ramping up its production of nuclear weapons: “The accelerating pace of the [People’s Republic of China’s] nuclear expansion may enable the PRC to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. The PRC likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and size the DoD projected in 2020.”

Furthermore, unlike the U.S., China is under no international treaty limiting the number of nuclear weapons in its arsenal. Currently in its treaty with Russia, the U.S. is limited to 1,550 nuclear warheads.

China is also constructing hundreds of new ICBM silos, “and is on the cusp of a large silo-based ICBM force expansion comparable to those undertaken by other major powers.” Furthermore, the communist state is increasing its number of ballistic missile launches, which totaled more than 250 last year, even in the midst of the COVID pandemic. A pandemic that came out of China.

In 2020, China had amassed enough vessels to become the largest navy in the world. “In the near-term,” the report unnervingly notes, “the [People’s Liberation Army Navy] will have the capability to conduct long-range precision strikes against land targets from its submarine and surface combatants using land-attack cruise missiles, notably enhancing the PRC’s global power projection capabilities.”

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, soberly warned: “We’re witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power that the world has witnessed. If we, the United States military, don’t do a fundamental change to ourselves in the coming 10 to 15 to 20 years, then we’re going to be on the wrong side of a conflict.” (It’s worth remembering, if only for context, Milley’s alleged checkered history with China.)

Of course, Beijing has downplayed any concern over its recent hypersonic missile test, claiming that it was only a “routine test of spacecraft” and that any thought of China posing a military threat to the U.S. is “imaginary.” Yet hypersonic weapons “are not common,” observed former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Heino Klinck. “It’s an emerging technology. There is no military that has yet fielded hypersonic weapons anywhere in the world.”

China also is attempting to deny that it is in the midst of an arms race with the U.S., but Klinck contended, “Judge the Chinese through their actions.”

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