Philip Lenczycki on June 3, 2022
- China has developed new weapons after being humiliated during previous encounters with the U.S. military, Brandon Weichert, a geopolitical analyst, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
- “In ’96 the Chinese watched what happened, they were thoroughly humiliated, and Beijing said never again,” Weichert told TheDCNF.
- China’s new carrier killer missiles, hypersonic missiles and aircraft carriers threaten U.S. interests around the world, Weichert said.
China intends to deploy new missile systems and a third aircraft carrier to exploit U.S. military weaknesses, a geopolitical analyst told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
China may be able to successfully invade Taiwan because American forces are overextended and the U.S. Navy has become over-reliant on aircraft carriers, Brandon Weichert, a consultant for the U.S. Air Force, told TheDCNF. Furthermore, Washington even appears unable to stop Beijing from launching hypersonic missiles or building military bases outside the Indo-Pacific.
“The American Navy I would argue is at its weakest or its smallest probably since the interwar years in terms of what it can do in terms of if it’s pushed into multiple areas of conflict,” Weichert said. “Our Navy now is having to triage and pick what it is going to focus on at the expense of other important regions.”
Weichert, the author of “Winning Space: How America Remains A Superpower,” cited the U.S. halting sales of Howitzers to Taiwan in favor of arming Ukraine in May as evidence Washington is already unable to meet global security demands.
“The Pentagon is finding that these critical systems are being drained faster than they can be replaced by our ailing manufacturing base,” Weichert said. “We’re going to have to start figuring out very soon where we’re going to cut in order to refocus on China.”
Weichert said Washington may also be unable to protect Taiwan because the U.S. Navy became over-reliant on aircraft carriers in the aftermath of the 1996 Third Taiwan Strait Crisis.
“[U.S. military] strategic doctrine is what it was when Bill Clinton was president during the Taiwan Strait Crisis: if push comes to shove, we’re just going to deploy an aircraft carrier to run the Taiwan Strait,” Weichert said. “In ’96, China couldn’t do anything about it, but in ’96 the Chinese watched what happened, they were thoroughly humiliated, and Beijing said never again.”
The Third Taiwan Strait Crisis began after Taiwan’s former president, Lee Teng-hui, delivered a speech at Cornell University in June 1995. In response, the People’s Liberation Army launched missiles into the waters around Taiwan, and it wasn’t until the Clinton administration sailed the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait in March 1996 that Beijing finally relented.
Since then, China has allegedly developed “a robust suite of anti-access area denial” systems designed to keep U.S. aircraft carriers at bay, Weichert said. One of these weapon systems is China’s “carrier killer” anti-ship ballistic missile.
“I believe the Dongfeng-21D carrier killer missile is real,” said Weichert. “The Navy is extremely concerned about [carrier killer missiles] because there’s no countermeasure.” The Dongfeng-21D can reportedly strike targets approximately 900 miles away, according to the Center For Strategic & International Studies.
Weichert said that as Washington struggles to counter Beijing in the Indo-Pacific, China is rapidly projecting its power across the world.
One way that China is doing this is through hypersonic missile technology, which the U.S. lacks, Weichert said. In July and August 2021, China reportedly tested hypersonic missiles which can allegedly evade missile defense systems and strike targets 3,400 miles away.
“China has a significant lead on us, not only in the research side of hypersonics, but in the development side,” Weichert said. “China has these systems in the real world, we do not.”
China’s long-anticipated third aircraft carrier will also give Beijing the means to control new regions, Weichert said.
“The fact that China is going to have three operational carriers, that gives them a lot of advantages to threaten Taiwan in particular, but also to project power beyond,” Weichert said. “The ultimate goal for China is to be able to have access not only to the Indian Ocean and the overall Pacific Ocean, but to also have access to the Atlantic Ocean so they can project power into the Western Hemisphere.”
Although China failed to reach a security deal with Pacific island nations on Monday, Weichert said China won’t give up.
“The Chinese have the money, the time and the will. They’re going to keep trying to woo the leaders of these smaller countries until, finally, they get what they want,” said Weichert. “We should be focused like a laser on [China]. If we wait to respond until the threat has already come, then it will probably be too late.”
The Department of Defense did not respond immediately to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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