Could the United States win a war against the world’s most populous country and its biggest economic rival?
National security experts are questioning U.S. readiness for a potential military conflict with China, according to Fox News, citing China’s advances in weaponry and geographical considerations that would complicate American operations.
Dr. John Lee, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, is warning that China may have surpassed American capabilities when it comes to hypersonic arms — missiles that travel five times the speed of sound or faster and have the capability to devastate fortified structures and warships.
He described a potential U.S-China conflict as a “very bloody affair for both sides,” according to Fox.
“Over the past two decades, the U.S. and allies have been very passive, allowing the People’s Liberation Army to achieve air and sea dominance in this theater,” Lee said of the Indo-Pacific region, according to Fox.
“However, [they] are now becoming serious about developing long-range strike capabilities, hypersonic strike capabilities, asymmetrical capabilities … and the range of non-military measures which would include crippling economic and financial sanctions.”
James Anderson, a former Trump administration undersecretary of Defense for Policy, warned that a conflict in the Pacific region would give China the home-field advantage.
“The problem is that in the Indo-Pacific Theater, the closer you get to China, the more [China] can concentrate its military assets,” Anderson said, according to Fox.
“What is especially concerning to the United States and its allies are ballistic missiles and the fact that China is probably ahead of us with hypersonic weaponry.”
Anderson predicted that Taiwan, the South China Sea, and the uninhabited Senkaku Islands northeast of Taiwan could serve as a flashpoint for a conflict between the United States, its Pacific allies, and China.
American presidents have urged Japan to strengthen its military for decades.
The longstanding post-World War II U.S relationship with Japan would likely be crucial in the event of a serious conflict with China.
However, there’s some reason to believe China would be more cautious about the prospect of a military conflict with the West than some might fear.
Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that Chinese President Xi Jinping had “concerns” with his country’s invasion of Ukraine after a meeting between the leaders on Thursday, according to The New York Times.
The admission suggested the invasion had become a point of friction between Russia and China, which otherwise maintain strategic ties.
Putin’s attempt to subjugate NATO-backed Ukraine has seen his own military exposed as a far from overpowering, with Russians continuing to take heavy losses and retreating from entire regions of the country seven months into the conflict.
China, meanwhile, sponsors significant espionage and corporate subterfuge operations in the United States.
FBI Director Christopher Wray indicated earlier this year that his bureau was opening a China-related counterintelligence investigation every 12 hours earlier this year, according to NBC.
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