A new report by Thomas Shugart on War On The Rocks spells out the disturbing level to which China appears to have planned out a crippling missile attack on US military bases in the Pacific should its benefits in the region be endangered.
For some time analysts have noted that China seems to be fitting its military to stand-up the US’s. For example, Beijing tested its “carrier killer‘ ballistic missile on a model of a US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, while its own aircraft carrier is designed for coastal defense and will likely be designed for the South China Sea.
But, Shutgart’s after an investigation of satellite images linking China’s missile testing grounds with US bases in the region shows an eerie array. It appears that China’s latest missile tests have all been geared towards cracking out US carriers, destroyers, and airfields in East Asia.
This falls in line with one of China’s core military doctrines — “active defense.”
Essentially, if China believes it is facing a foe that aggressively seeks to challenge its territorial cohesiveness or sovereignty, the PLA will engage with the enemy by using all accessible means:
- Legal challenges;
- Cyber warfare;
- Counter-space systems;
- Preemptive strikes.
Under President Trump, the US has made the most severe challenges to China’s territory and sovereignty in recent history.
Trump and vital members of his administration have reprimanded China for its “massive military fortress” in the South China Sea, and even threatened to cut off China’s access to these islands it has built as well as militarized in the region. Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen struck at the heart of China’s very life, as it could undermine China’s policy of seeing Taiwan as a rogue jurisdiction that must be back into Beijing’s fold.
ENGAGED AGAINST THE US
China has already engaged its state-sponsored propaganda against the US, developed counter-space systems that could denude the US of its huge satellite-driven information advantage, and developed systems uniquely able to counter US stealth aircraft.
If the US continues to actively challenge China and seek to undercut its territorial cohesion, the next logical step in the PLA’s escalation may be to attempt to eviscerate US bases and assets throughout Asia with a blistering missile attack.
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