U.S. Secretary of Defense slams China’s development of hypersonic weapons

Seoul, South Korea (Associated Press)-The Secretary of Defense rebuked China On Thursday, it vowed to counter its potential military threats in Asia and warned that its pursuit of hypersonic weapons designed to evade US missile defenses “increased tensions in the region.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin makes a stern comment after the annual security meeting with the U.S. South KoreaIt is a top ally of the United States and a window to understand one of the biggest foreign policy concerns of the Biden administration: how should it be dealt with? Washington And its partners include a strengthening Chinese military—whether in sheer firepower or confidence—because it is seeking to end US dominance in Asia?

China Consider most of Asia as its natural sphere of influence. But many in the region have warned that China will emerge a mode of intervention while also taking action to acquire the weapons needed to dominate its competitors.Austin’s comment is for ChinaIn July, a hypersonic weapon was tested, which can partially orbit the earth before re-entering the atmosphere and glide along an operable path to its target.

Experts said that the weapon system was clearly designed to evade the U.S. missile defense system, although China It insists that it is testing reusable spacecraft, not missiles.

“We are concerned about the military capabilities that China continues to pursue, and the pursuit of these capabilities will exacerbate tensions in the region,” Austin said of the hypersonic weapon test, using the abbreviation of the People’s Republic of China, China’s official name.

“We will continue to maintain the ability to defend and deter China’s potential threats to ourselves and our allies,” he said.

The Pentagon announced on Monday the results of a global situation assessment that called for more cooperation with allies to prevent “potential Chinese military aggression and threats from North Korea.”

Last month, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the United States is also studying hypersonic weapons.But there are also concerns Washington It’s behind China And Russia is pursuing these types of weapons. Russia said on Monday that its navy had successfully tested a future hypersonic cruise missile.

The flight speed of hypersonic weapons exceeds Mach 5, which is five times the speed of sound. Due to their speed and maneuverability, they may pose a major challenge to missile defense systems. However, some experts believe that hypersonic weapons are not helpful to the United States’ ability to deter war, and worry that they may trigger a new and destabilizing arms race.

Austin also addressed another major US concern: North Korea.

He said that he agreed with South Korea’s Defense Minister Xu Xu’s view that North Korea’s growing weapons program “increasesly undermines regional security and stability.” Austin said that the allies are still committed to adopting diplomatic measures against North Korea.

Su said that the two agreed to a document to update the joint emergency plan in the event of a war on the peninsula to reflect the North Korean threat and other changes in the situation, but did not elaborate on the details of the document.

It is believed that North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has grown significantly in recent years.

After conducting a series of high-profile missile and nuclear tests in 2016-17, North Korea claimed to be capable of launching a nuclear strike on the United States. According to South Korea’s 2018 estimates, North Korea has built as many as 60 nuclear weapons.

Despite the severe economic difficulties associated with the pandemic, North Korea has consistently rejected the U.S. proposal to resume disarmament negotiations, saying Washington It must first give up its hostility. The Biden administration insists that international sanctions on North Korea will continue until North Korea takes concrete steps to achieve denuclearization.

Approximately 28,500 soldiers stationed in the U.S. South Korea To prevent North Korea’s potential aggression. According to a joint statement, at the meeting on Thursday, Austin emphasized the United States’ commitment to maintain the current level of the US military.

The alliance was established during the 1950-53 Korean War and has been tested in recent years, when then President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw US troops. South Korea if Seoul There has not been a substantial increase in financial support for them.Trump has also repeatedly complained about the cost of regular military exercises between the two countries Washington with Seoul.

Since President Joe Biden took office in January, this concern has eased.But the alliance still faces challenges, such as SeoulThe historical dispute with Japan, another important regional ally of the United States, and its hesitation to join the United States-led initiative to target goals China, Its largest trading partner.

Austin and Su promised to continue the trilateral cooperation involving Japan.But they did not specify how South Korea Japan can overcome tensions that stemmed mainly from Tokyo’s colonization of the Korean peninsula in 1910-45.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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