A One-Sided Arms Race
China’s military ambitions are boundless.
Jan 24, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 18 • By DAN BLUMENTHAL and MIKE MAZZA
Last week, Beijing decided that Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s fence-mending trip to China was the perfect time to unveil new military capabilities. In the lead-up to Gates’s trip, Admiral Robert Willard, the commander of U.S. Pacific forces, revealed that China’s “carrier killer” antiship ballistic missile is nearly ready for deployment. Then, just hours before Gates’s January 11 meeting with President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Air Force conducted a test flight of the J-20, a fighter jet that appears to have radar-evading stealth capabilities. Washington had an almost perfectly perverse answer, one symbolic of the shape of the emerging Sino-American rivalry: It announced another round of defense cuts. So there is a Sino-American military competition, but only China is competing.
This is crying wolf, but, in addition to crying, the wolf is coming this time.