Category: Kings of the East

China’s hypersonic space weapons could be used to launch a SURPRISE nuclear attack on the US, says vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who admits Beijing is MORE advanced technologically in that sphere

  • Vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Hyten said that China’s hypersonic space weapons could be used to launch a surprise attack on the US 
  • China is thought to have carried out two tests of a hypersonic orbital nuke – the first on July 27 and the second on August 13 this year
  • The weapon is designed to evade powerful US radar systems and anti-missile defenses by flying in low-Earth orbit, making it harder to spot, track and destroy 
  • Hyten warned that DC should treat it as a ‘Sputnik moment,’ referencing when Russia launched the first manmade satellite into orbit in 1957
  • It caught America by surprise and put Russia at the forefront of the space race

By SHANNON THALER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 02:35 EST, 17 November 2021 | UPDATED: 08:01 EST, 17 November 2021

China‘s hypersonic space weapons could be used to launch a surprise attack on the US, said vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Hyten, who also admitted that Beijing has more advanced hypersonic technology. 

Hyten, the second-highest ranking military officer in the US, revealed that during last summer’s hypersonic weapons test, China sent a missile around the world at more than five times the speed of sound, as reported by CBS News.  

Hyten told the news station: ‘They launched a long-range missile. It went around the world, dropped off a hypersonic glide vehicle that glided all the way back to China, that impacted a target in China’.

He added that also got ‘close enough’ to hitting its intended target, a feat he likened to ‘a Sputnik moment,’ when Russia launched the first manmade satellite into orbit in 1957, catching America by surprise and putting them at the forefront of the space race.

From a technology perspective, it’s pretty impressive,’ Hyten told CBS in reference to China’s June 27 around-the-world test. However, he noted that ‘Sputnik created a sense of urgency in the United States, which ‘the test on June 27 did not,’ adding that he thinks it should have and suggesting that DC needed to take the test more seriously. 

But the new technology is reportedly already catching US officials off guard, particularly as the system ‘defies the laws of physics’ and appears superior to anything in the American arsenal. 

China has reportedly been working on hypersonic weapons instead of the usual intercontinental ballistic missiles, which travel in a predictable arc and can be tracked by radars, according to CBS.

Meanwhile, hypersonic weapons are much harder for radars to pick up because they travel much closer to the planet’s surface. Hyten referred to them as ‘first-use weapons’ and believes China could one day use the technology to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the US.

‘They look like a first-use weapon,’ Hyten said. ‘That’s what those weapons look like to me.’ 

They later launched a second test on August 13 and it involved a similar ‘hypersonic glide vehicle’ to one launched into space on board a Long March rocket back in July.

Beijing acknowledged one of the tests but claimed the country launched a ‘peaceful’ civilian spacecraft. Analysts believe the craft can actually be tipped with a nuclear warhead which would be able to evade missile defenses.

But even government scientists are struggling to work out exactly what the new craft is capable of as one source told the Financial Times that it appears to ‘defy the laws of physics’ and is unlike any technology the US has. 

Hyten told CBS that America is developing its own weapons of this kind, too, but at a much slower pace. 

The White House has refused to comment while the US Department of Defense has also declined confirming or denying the existence of any hypersonic weapons tests. 

Then over a virtual meeting summit on Monday night Chinese leader XI Jinping exchanged pleasantries for the camera with President Joe Biden and greeted him as an ‘old friend’.

From the introduction, Xi appeared to troll Biden – who has pushed back on the assertion the two were friends and called their meeting ‘pure bitterness’ – with the comment. 

Biden suggested that they should start the meeting ‘more formally, even though you and I have never been that formal’.

‘Let’s get something straight,’ the president said during a press conference back in June in Switzerland.

‘We know each other well. We’re not old friends. It’s just pure business,’ he added when speaking on Xi.

China pulling ahead in the modern arms race could also shift the balance between the US and Russia, whose equilibrium has depended on neither side having weapons to launch a successful nuclear strike.  

However, this is far from the first test China has completed with their hypersonic missiles.

Hyten revealed lsat month that the Asian country has carried out hundreds of tests while the US has done less than 10.

Speaking at a Defense Writers Group roundtable in October, Hyten said China’s hypersonic missile advancements is an area of concern and the public should be worried.

‘What you need to be worried about is that in the last five years, or maybe longer, the United States has done nine hypersonic missile tests, and in the same time the Chinese have done hundreds,’ Hyten said, according to reports.  

Hyten said the pace in which China is moving was ‘stunning’. 

‘Single digits versus hundreds is not a good place,’ he added, although the general did not elaborate on his concerns.

It was also revealed last month that a rocket failure caused a delay in the US military’s test of its hypersonic weapons system when the military scheduled a test of its Army-Navy common hypersonic glide body in Kodiak, Alaska but it was never able to launch.

Meanwhile, China conducted a second test of a suspected hypersonic orbital missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, intelligence sources, including Hyten, have claimed. 

‘The pace they’re moving and the trajectory they’re on will surpass Russia and the United States if we don’t do something to change it,’ he said. 

‘It will happen. I think we have to do something.’

Hyten’s concerns echoed those expressed earlier by Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff.

Milley called China’s suspected testing of hypersonic weapons ‘very concerning’ during an interview with The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg Television.

‘I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that,’ he noted, adding that ‘it has all of our attention’.

Milley also warned that the new missile systems are just one of many things the US should be concerned about as the Chinese military expands.

‘The Chinese military capabilities are much greater than that. They’re expanding rapidly in space, in cyber, and in the traditional domains of land, sea and air,’ he told Bloomberg. ‘We’re in one of the most significant changes in what I call the ‘character of war.”

The technology was designed to cut off enemy supply lines in the event of a conflict and sneak attacks using underwater charges will leave large vessels like American aircraft carriers vulnerable.

Underwater demolitions are a response to changing US tactics in the Pacific as Washington divides its forces between smaller locations instead of concentrating them in one place to mitigate the damage from attacks.

This tactic increases the strain on logistics operations required to keep large vessels such as aircraft carriers afloat, making attacks on infrastructure such as ports and wharfs more important.

‘With ports destroyed, enemy logistics support will fail and a dispersed fighting force… will also fail,’ an unnamed military expert told The Times.  

It’s just the latest move in a global arms race between Russia, China and the US that’s taking place against the backdrop of mounting tensions between the superpowers in the eastern Pacific.

All three countries are engaged in wholesale updates of their militaries including the development of new nuclear technology with which they can strike each other at range.

Russia and China have, in recent years, unveiled new and more-powerful ICBMs which are capable of launching multiple nuclear warheads at targets many thousands of miles away.

The United States, Russia and at least five other countries are also working on hypersonic technology – and last month North Korea said it had test fired a newly-developed hypersonic missile.

Russia had previously tested a hypersonic cruise missile known as Zircon but it flies below the atmosphere and uses fuel to power itself to hypersonic speeds rather than the Earth’s orbit.

The Pentagon did not comment on China’s testing of the hypersonic missile but did acknowledge China as their ‘number one pacing challenge’.

‘We have made clear our concerns about the military capabilities China continues to pursue, capabilities that only increase tensions in the region and beyond,’ John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, told Fox News. ‘That is one reason why we hold China as our number one pacing challenge.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11865

China may be eyeing its first military base on the Atlantic Ocean: report

Tensions between the US and China have been running high

By Edmund DeMarche | Fox News

China appears to be eyeing its first permanent military base on the shores of Africa’s Atlantic coast, and Washington – not keen on the idea – has already started a diplomatic effort to put the kibosh on any plans, a report said.

U.S. officials, citing classified American intelligence reports, told the Wall Street Journal that Beijing could be eyeing Equatorial Guinea’s port city of Bata for the base. The report said Bata already comes with a deep-water port that had been upgraded by China Road & Bridge Co. from 2009 to 2014. The report said U.S. intelligence first learned of the possibility of the base in 2019.

The Pentagon and White House did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News seeking comment. Tensions between the U.S. and China have been running high. Beijing has criticized U.S. warships that frequent the South China Sea, and the U.S. has accused China of destabilizing the region due to aggression directed at Taiwan.

President Biden has said it is a top priority of his administration not to let China surpass the U.S. during his presidency. The report comes just days after the Pentagon announced plans for major infrastructure improvements at military airfields in Guam and Australia to counter China.

Jon Finer, the principal deputy U.S. national security adviser, visited the Central African country in October in an effort to dissuade President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and his son from agreeing to the deal, according to the Journal. The White House said in a statement at the time that the two discussed “ways to enhance maritime security and end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

One administration official told the paper that the U.S. has “made clear to Equatorial Guinea that certain potential steps involving [Chinese] activity there would raise national-security concerns.”

Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, said in April that the “most significant threat” from Beijing would be a naval base on Africa’s Atlantic coast. The Journal said the possibility of the base is “setting off alarm bells at the White House and Pentagon.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11845

AMERICA TESTING ON ISRAELI WEAPONRY IN POTENTIAL WAR AGAINST CHINA

BY JNS | NOV 11, 2021 | IDFUS-ISRAEL RELATIONS

When you take the field against your enemies, and see horses and chariots—forces larger than yours—have no fear of them, for Hashem your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, is with you. Deuteronomy 20:1 (The Israel BibleTM)

The U.S. military is testing Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system in Guam because of the threat of Chinese cruise missiles.

Iron Dome has demonstrated an ability to intercept cruise missiles that travel below the speed of sound that the Pentagon says could be fired from Chinese bombers at Guam, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Congress had ordered two Iron Dome systems in 2019 and said that one should be deployed this year.

The U.S. military also seeks some $200 million for other technologies, such as a land-based version of the Aegis missile-defense system built by Lockheed Martin that is commonly used on ships, according to the report.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11811

China Builds Missile Targets Shaped Like U.S. Aircraft Carrier, Destroyers in Remote Desert

By: H I Sutton and Sam LaGrone

November 7, 2021 11:12 AM • Updated: November 7, 2021 12:58 PM

The Chinese military has built targets in the shape of an American aircraft carrier and other U.S. warships in the Taklamakan desert as part of a new target range complex, according to photos provided to USNI News by satellite imagery company Maxar.

The full-scale outline of a U.S. carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are part of the target range that has been built in the Ruoqiang region in central China. The site is near a former target range China used to test early versions of its so-called carrier killer DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, according to press reports in 2013.

This new range shows that China continues to focus on anti-carrier capabilities, with an emphasis on U.S. Navy warships. Unlike the Iranian Navy’s aircraft carrier-shaped target in the Persian Gulf, the new facility shows signs of a sophisticated instrumented target range.

The carrier target itself appears to be a flat surface without the carrier’s island, aircraft lifts, weapons sponsons or other details, the imagery from Maxar shows. On radar, the outline of the carrier stands out from the surrounding desert – not unlike a target picture, according to imagery provided to USNI News by Capella Space.

There are two more target areas representing an aircraft carrier that do not have the metaling, but are distinguishable as carriers due to their outline. But other warship targets appear to be more elaborate. There are numerous upright poles positioned on them, possibly for instrumentation, according to the imagery. Alternatively these may be used for radar reflectors to simulate the superstructure of the vessel.

The facility also has an extensive rail system. An Oct. 9 image from Maxar showed a 75 meter-long target with extensive instrumentation on a 6 meter-wide rail.

The area has been traditionally used for ballistic missile testing, according to a summary of the Maxar images by geospatial intelligence company AllSource Analysis that identified the site from satellite imagery.

“The mockups of several probable U.S. warships, along with other warships (mounted on rails and mobile), could simulate targets related to seeking/target acquisition testing,” according to the AllSource Analysis summary, which said there are no indications of weapon impact areas in the immediate vicinity of the mockups. “This, and the extensive detail of the mockups, including the placement of multiple sensors on and around the vessel targets, it is probable that this area is intended for multiple uses over time.“

Analysis of historical satellite images shows that the carrier target structure was first built between March and April of 2019. It underwent several rebuilds and was then substantially dismantled in December 2019. The site came back to life in late September of this year and the structure was substantially complete by early October.

China has several anti-ship ballistic missile programs overseen by the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force. The land-based CSS-5 Mod 5 (DF-21D) missile has a range of over 800 nautical miles. It has a maneuverable reentry vehicle (MaRV) to target ships. The larger CSS-18 (DF-26) has a range of around 2,000 nautical miles.

“In July 2019, the PLARF conducted its first-ever confirmed live-fire launch into the South China Sea, firing six DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles into the waters north of the Spratly Islands,” according to the Pentagon’s latest annual report on China’s military. The Chinese are also fielding a longer range anti-ship ballistic missile that initially emerged in 2016.

“The multi-role DF-26 is designed to rapidly swap conventional and nuclear warheads and is capable of conducting precision land-attack and anti-ship strikes in the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea from mainland China. In 2020, the PRC fired anti-ship ballistic missiles against a moving target in the South China Sea, but has not acknowledged doing so,” reads the report.

In addition to the land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles, China has a program to equip the People’s Liberation Army Navy H-6 bombers with a massive anti-ship ballistic missile. First revealed in 2018, the CH-AS-X-13 will likely be the largest air-launched missile in existence, and would be large enough to accommodate a hypersonic warhead.

Another possible launch platform for anti-ship ballistic missiles is the new Type-055 Renhai Class large destroyer. Described as a guided-missile cruiser, it will be capable of carrying anti-ship ballistic missiles, according to the Pentagon report.

It’s not the first time China has built an aircraft carrier target in the desert. Since 2003, a large concrete pad, roughly the size of a carrier, has been used as a target. The slab, which is part of the Shuangchengzi missile test range, has been hit many times and is frequently repaired. The new site in the Taklamakan desert is 600 miles away and is much more evolved. The newer ship targets are closer approximations of the vessels that they are supposed to represent.

While questions remain on the extent of weapons that will be tested at the new facility, the level of sophistication of what can now be seen at the site show the PLA is continuing to invest in deterrents to limit the efficacy of U.S. naval forces close to China – in particular targeting the U.S. carrier fleet.

According to the Pentagon report released last week, a primary objective of the PLARF will be to keep U.S. carriers at risk from anti-ship ballistic missiles throughout the Western Pacific.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11807

China’s nuclear stockpile growing at ‘accelerating pace,’ will have 1,000 warheads by 2030: Pentagon

While the US is currently treaty limited with Russia to deploy up no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, China is under no such restrictions

By Lucas Y. Tomlinson | Fox News

China is building nuclear warheads at an “accelerating pace” and will have 1,000 by the end of the decade, according to the Pentagon’s new China report released Wednesday after a two-month delay.

Just a year ago in the last China report, the Pentagon had estimated China’s nuclear arsenal to be in the “low-200s” and would “at least double” over the next decade. The new report demonstrates China is expanding much more rapidly.

“The accelerating pace of the PRC’s nuclear expansion may enable the PRC to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. The PRC likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and size the DoD projected in 2020.”

The PRC, or the People’s Republic of China, is how the Pentagon refers to China. 

China is able to build up its nuclear stockpile by “increasing its capacity to produce and separate plutonium,” the report says. 

The U.S. is currently treaty limited with Russia to deploy up no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads. China is under no such restrictions because they don’t have any arms control treaties with any other country.

China “is building hundreds of new ICBM silos, and is on the cusp of a large silo-based ICBM force expansion comparable to those undertaken by other major powers,” the report warns.

Over the summer, U.S. intelligence detected the presence of the missile fields and civilian satellite radar discovered some of them.

The report says in 2020, China launched more than 250 ballistic missiles “exceeding its launch numbers for 2018 and 2019 despite COVID-19.”

A year ago in its last annual report to Congress, the Pentagon said China had amassed the biggest Navy in the world. It has since improved according to the new annual report to Congress.

“In the near-term, the PLAN will have the capability to conduct long-range precision strikes against land targets from its submarine and surface combatants using land-attack cruise missiles, notably enhancing the PRC’s global power projection capabilities.”

The report measures the growth of China’s military in 2020 only, it does not account for China’s growth this year. The report did not cover the recent hypersonic weapons test from space, which caught U.S. intelligence by surprise.

The newly released report did cover the following development in the field of hypersonic weapons—the first deployment of the advanced system that travels five times the speed of sound, but more importantly according to experts, it does not travel in a predictable, ballistic trajectory. 

“In 2020, the PLARF began to field its first operational hypersonic weapons system, the DF-17 hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) capable medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM),” the report says.

The U.S. military’s top officer, Gen. Mark Milley called the recent test of a Chinese hypersonic a “very significant” test.

“We’re witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power that the world has witnessed,” Milley warned NBC’s Lester Holt at the Aspen Security Forum Wednesday. “If we, the United States military, don’t do a fundamental change to ourselves in the coming 10 to 15 to 20 years, then we’re going to be on the wrong side of a conflict.”

Milley later predicted a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is “not likely” in the next two years.

The Pentagon’s new China report has added a section on “Chemical and Biological research,” saying China has “engaged in biological activities with potential dual-use applications, which raise concerns regarding its compliance with the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).”

The report did not touch on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. A senior defense official said the Pentagon is leaving that issues to the Director of National Intelligence.

Milley recently said China’s test of a hypersonic missile while orbiting the earth was very close to a “Sputnik moment.” 

In an interview with Fox News, Elbridge A. Colby, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, said it’s not just China’s development of hypersonic weapons that is concerning; it’s Beijing’s overall military advancements including its nuclear forces.

“The Sputnik moment was kind of this idea that we finally woke up to something. There are plenty of Sputnik moments we have before us,” Colby said in an interview with Fox News and author of the new book The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict. “It’s Sputnik on steroids.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11796

Expert: U.S. has ‘no choice’ but to go all out against Xi Jinping

Fight looming over Taiwan and its strategic significance

By Bob Unruh
Published November 1, 2021 at 6:58pm

China has been rattling its sabers, and other articles of war for several years already in what appears to be a longterm plan to take Taiwan by one means or another.

But with Joe Biden now in the White House, and a new level of weakness on foreign policy being transmitted daily, it would surprise few if that move by the Communist regime in Beijing happens sooner rather than later.

Which means that the United States “has no choice but to go all out and do what it can to rein in Xi Jinping’s ambitions.”

That’s according to Chris King, a senior research fellow at the Middle East Media Research Institute.

He explained the tripartite China-U.S.-Taiwan game “will certainly be fierce,” and actually already has begun.

He explained in the 1950s, President Harry Truman sent the Seventh Fleet to blockade the Taiwan Strait after the Korean War started.

“He had shifted from nearly abandoning Taiwan to stationing troops in the island. He did so because he was fully aware of its geopolitical importance as the anti-communist frontline,” King wrote.

Now, Taiwan remains a small island, and continues to have “great strategic value.” And the loss of the territory to a Chinese assault would have significant impact.

“Should Taiwan [be] lost, the U.S. would lose its most effective means to balance the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Consequently, the U.S.’s dominant position in the Indo-Pacific region would collapse. From then on, the CCP would face off against the U.S., and its allies in the region. Thus, the CCP would end up with absolute control of the South China Sea, a resource-rich region and the lifeblood of the world’s maritime transport – and its external expansion and projection of influence would grow rapidly by leaps and bounds,” he pointed out.

Actually, the U.S. should see Taiwan as an ally on par with the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia, or “at least with Japan and South Korea,” he said.

“Beijing’s military moves around Taiwan in recent years are, to a large extent, a test of Washington’s intention and will to become involved in a war across the Taiwan Strait. Once Beijing judges that the U.S. is unlikely to send troops directly to Taiwan’s aid, Chinese President Xi Jinping will have no qualms about attacking the island.”

His suggestion is that Washington must resolve to use force to defend Taiwan, and make that clear. Joe Biden has promised that the U.S. would aid Taiwan, but the specifics remain unclear.

Otherwise, China, which undoubtedly already has plans to rule Taiwan, he said, will increase its military activity and influence some members of the public there to favor unification. Then, he said, “a Chinese attack on Taiwan will be inevitable.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11787

‘Hybrid war’ appearing in China’s toolbox of weapons

And Xi’s ‘dual circulation economy’ seen as ‘alarming’ fortification

By WND News Services
Published October 24, 2021 at 2:30pm

By Adam Cabot
Real Clear Defense

In a recent article titled ‘Xi Jinping’s Pivot to the State,’ Australia’s ex-Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, brilliantly outlines Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambition to create a “dual circulation economy.” In Rudd’s words, this “seeks to reduce China’s future dependency on export-driven growth, and instead have Chinese domestic consumer demand become the principal growth driver; thereby leveraging the enormous gravitational pull of the Chinese domestic economy on the rest of the global economy.”

Rudd outlines three driving forces behind this ambition. These being changes within the Chinese Communist Party’s ideological framework, the demographic concern of an aging population due to the now relaxed ‘one-child policy, and a response to U.S. measures of economic decoupling from China.

These three points constitute solid arguments from Rudd, who is clearly an expert in China’s domestic and foreign policies. Rudd is a voice to be listened to in this domain. He does, however, overlook two potential driving forces in Xi’s economic ambitions. These forces are critical, and it would be remiss to ignore them, particularly in light of recent developments under Xi’s regime. Both forces revolve around Xi’s inarguably increasingly aggressive foreign policies.

The first is the use of the economy to execute a Hybrid Warfare campaign. Hybrid Warfare is defined as “a continuation of foreign policy, utilizing a combination of unconventional hard power and/or subversive instruments to achieve strategic objectives.” Xi is already well underway in utilizing Hybrid Warfare to achieve his foreign policy ambitions. An example of this is his campaign to annex or, in his words, “reunify” Taiwan with Mainland China. This has included nuclear threats against Japan as a warning to prevent allied intervention, consistent incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone using fighters and bombers, cyber-attacks, and propaganda threatening Taiwan. The strategy is to subdue Taiwan without a fight, or if this fails, to potentially utilize this Hybrid Warfare campaign in combination with conventional military action such as an amphibious assault and ballistic missile strikes against the island state.

By moving to a “dual circulation economy,” Xi, in his words, is transforming the Chinese market into a “huge gravitational field attracting international commodity and factor resources” and in Rudd’s words, “force the rest of the world to engage with China on Beijing’s own terms or risk falling behind commercially.” This measure by Xi would make the international community more reliant on China while reducing its own reliance on international markets due to stronger domestic wealth growth and consumer demand. This self-reliance could be further transformed into economic coercion as a component of Hybrid Warfare.

We are already seeing numerous examples of Chinese economic coercion, including China’s punishment of Australia by targeting its exports with trade barriers in retaliation for Australia pursuing an inquiry into the origins of Covid-19. Another example of economic coercion was China blocking market access to South Korean goods and services in various sectors in retaliation for South Korea’s decision to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defense system in 2016. The further Xi decouples from the U.S. and reduces economic dependency on the international economy, the stronger his hand becomes in expanding economic coercion and increasing his power to utilize it as a component of Hybrid Warfare. The gravitational pull will, in turn, significantly impact the calculus of those nations responding to Beijing’s increased assertiveness. If China is able to tighten the screws of economic coercion, this will affect corporations otherwise unaffected, which could easily translate into loss of employment and influence democratic decision-making. A democratic leader may face tougher choices than they previously faced when standing up to China, which could have greater impact at election time.

The second potential driving force overlooked by Rudd in Xi’s economic ambition to create a “dual circulation economy” is significantly more dire. Xi may be fortifying his economy in preparation for war against the U.S. and its allies. There are many alarming signs pointing to this, including increases in military expenditure, a major expansion of strategic missile silos to house Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), the building of military bases on contested islands in the South China Sea, threats against Taiwan, threats to use nuclear weapons, armed skirmishes with India, persistent flights of military aircraft within Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and consistent rhetoric from Xi that promotes a war footing.

In the event that China attempts to “reunify” Taiwan by force and the U.S. and its allies intervene, the global economy would be severely impacted. Xi’s focus on domestic consumer demand as his primary growth driver and steps taken to achieve this could act to weather the impact of a global economic shut down on the Chinese economy while a major war is underway. The ambition to create a successful “dual circulation economy” on its own is easily explained by Rudd’s three driving forces. However, when viewed in combination with Xi’s aggressive actions and rhetoric, a different and more alarming story unfolds. This begs the question of how does the global community, particularly the U.S. and its allies, counter these two driving forces? The answer is deterrence and decoupling.

The global community must diversify its international trade to reduce reliance on and decouple from China. This will prevent the so-called “gravitational field” from becoming a black hole from which there is no escape. While in the short term, this may result in higher financial costs, in the long term, it will reduce China’s ability to utilize economic coercion as a component of a wider Hybrid Warfare campaign. Australia is a prime case study in this area. China has frequently utilized international trade as an implement to punish Australia when it speaks out against the wishes of the Communist regime. Only through reducing economic reliance on China can these bullying tactics be circumvented. Xi is the bully in the schoolyard. The more he thinks he can get away with, the more he will act aggressively. Economic decoupling will reduce China’s power and influence.

Xi must be deterred. While the U.S. must lead this charge, as it possesses the most powerful military and economy globally, it requires its allies to boost this deterrence power. Likeminded nations need to work together to effectively deter Xi. He must be made to understand that any aggression against key interests will be met with resounding resolve. The U.S. should ensure that Xi is aware that all options are on the table, including nuclear retaliation. The minute Xi doubts this resolve is the minute he may decide to push the envelope and take risks such as “reunifying” Taiwan by force. The new security partnership between the U.S., U.K. and Australia (AUKUS) is a step in the right direction. The fact that the U.S. and U.K. are willing to sell Australia something as valuable and sensitive as advanced nuclear attack submarines signals to Xi that the resolve to counter Chinese aggression is solid. Appropriate signaling such as this must continue, as any weakness will be exploited.

The current decade will continue to test the stability and resilience of the liberal international order. While some may cynically argue that this no longer exists, the truth is we can’t afford to turn our backs on it. Xi has shown his hand and illustrated his ambitions through aggression. His move to fortify his economy and create a Chinese economic “gravitational field” adds further weight to support the argument that his geopolitical ambitions are hostile. It’s not too late to prevent further aggression from leading to war. It’s time to face the threat with steadfast strength and mutual cooperation amongst allies.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11774

China’s hypersonic missile: Is the best offense a good defense?

Exclusive: Lt. Col. James Zumwalt explains realities of cutting-edge nuke-delivery system

By Lt. Col. James Zumwalt
Published October 20, 2021 at 7:18pm

Sixty-four years ago this month, U.S. fears were ignited by the successful launch of the world’s first artificial satellite – Sputnik I – by the Soviet Union. It was a first we were hoping to claim, only to be surprised by the Soviets. In the race to space, we clearly had fallen behind.

Last August, we were again caught by surprise, this time by the Chinese, who successfully launched a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile. The missile circled the globe at more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5) or 3,853 mph before reentering earth’s atmosphere to hit its target. Had the missile been aimed at a U.S. target, by operating at such a speed, its interception, while circling the globe, would have been impossible.

While the Chinese missile apparently missed its target by two dozen miles, had it been armed with a nuclear weapon, that would not have made much difference. But this capability with which to attack a target is most definitely an eye-opener for the U.S. intelligence community. As with the Sputnik I launch, it was caught off-guard, failing to recognize an ideological competitor’s technology was so advanced.

As one expert on Chinese nuclear weapons explains, such a capability can be “destabilizing” if fully developed as, in addition to their speed, “Hypersonic glide vehicles … fly at lower trajectories and can maneuver in flight, which makes them hard to track and destroy.” This comes on the heels of satellite images showing China – which is not currently limited by any arms control deals – building at least 100-plus new nuclear missile silos, upgrading its inventory from 250 to more than 350 weapons.

The Indo-Pacific commander, Adm. Philip Davidson, testified last March that an increasing imbalance was being created in the region by China’s rapid military advancements. He forewarned that, “with this imbalance, we are accumulating risk that may embolden China to unilaterally change the status quo before our forces may be able to deliver an effective response.”

Also testifying last March was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley who – seemingly as knowledgeable about hypersonic missiles as he is about Critical Race Theory – suggested hypersonics have no “Achilles heel.” Milley claimed, “There is no defense against hypersonics. You’re not going to defend against it. Those things are going so fast you’re not going to get it.” While partially right, Milley does not seem to quite “get it.”

It is virtually impossible to intercept hypersonic missiles during the “midcourse” of their global flight, but they do have a vulnerability. Upon reentry, en route to a target during what is known as the “terminal” moments of flight, they move slower. Missile expert Kingston Reif tells us this terminal phase may well leave hypersonics vulnerable to interception by our existing SM-3 missile defense.

The Navy has SM-3 interceptors, capable of destroying medium-range ballistic missiles, which move slower than hypersonic missiles during the “midcourse” phase of their flight. These, therefore, could play a key role in intercepting hypersonic missiles during their terminal phase. Reif explains, “Terminal, narrower-area defenses designed to intercept reentry vehicles as they are bearing down on their target would in theory be more feasible, since at that stage a glider would be traveling slower than a ballistic [re-entry vehicle].” It is in such terminal defenses against hypersonic missiles that the Pentagon is making big investments. In 2020, Congress gave the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) $400 million for this purpose; in 2021, MDA seeks another $200 million. Unlike Milley, the rest of the military knows a hypersonic missile defense system is not at all impossible.

Reif believes, “Hypersonics have been hyped up to be unprecedented, game-changing weapons,” leading some to adopt a fatalistic approach when it comes to defending against them. Other defense experts agree, emphasizing “the hypersonics craze” is unwarranted as “what we’re talking about here are prototypes.” Of course, China’s recent successful test above suggests a new reality must now be considered.

The U.S. has not been idle in its own hypersonic missile research and development. While last year’s budget was $3.2 billion, the 2022 request increased it to $3.8 billion, with the cost of such missiles estimated to hit tens of millions of dollars per unit. In September, a successful testing by the U.S. of an air-breathing hypersonic weapon was conducted. But cost concerns are being expressed by the Pentagon.

Russia also has become a contender in the hypersonic missile competition. In July, it reported successfully testing its own such missile – touting it as unequaled in the world.

As hypersonic missiles become a reality, it remains to be seen if the best offense will be a good defense.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11767

BIDEN’S INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES IN UNITED STATES CAUGHT COMPLETELY UNAWARES AS COMMUNIST CHINA CONDUCTS SUCCESSFUL HYPERSONIC MISSILE TESTS

“We have no idea how they did this,” said one of the Financial Times’ U.S. intelligence sources. Others described China’s progress as “astounding” and “far more advanced than U.S. officials realized.” North Korea also claimed it tested a hypersonic weapon at the end of September, but its capabilities were far more limited, and the success of the test was debatable. China’s test missile actually flew completely around the Earth in low orbit before plunging into the atmosphere to strike.

by Geoffrey Grider October 18, 2021

U.S. intelligence agencies were caught by surprise when China secretly tested a nuclear-capable low-orbit hypersonic missile in August, the Financial Times reported Saturday. The weapon circled the globe before descending upon its target, missing by about two dozen miles.

 

China well-played their hand in their business dealings with Hunter Biden, so much so that pretend president Biden now is very reluctant to act against the Communist nation for fear of secrets getting leaked. Hunter Biden still appears to hold an ownership stake in a Chinese government-linked firm that has invested in companies sanctioned by the United States despite repeated pledges from President Joe Biden that his family would not have any foreign business ties and claims from White House press secretary Jen Psaki that Biden’s son was ending his investment. And what about that laptop with “alleged” child pornography? Yep, there’s that, too.

“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” Isaiah 26:2 (KJB)

Now let’s talk Chinese military might. US intelligence, oxymoron that, was beyond stunned when they saw what Communist China was able to pull off just a few weeks ago. A successful hypersonic missile test completely circled the earth and came within a few miles of hitting the intended target. A tweak, here, and upgrade there, and they will be hitting the bullseye’s eye, (read New York City), with soon-coming precision. Biden has no plans for combatting this nascent threat, his Pentagon says hypersonic missile technology is “too expensive”. A $3.5 TRILLION dollar budget doesn’t get you hypersonic missiles? Apparently not. But it does get you carbon credits, solar panels, mandatory vaccines and digital IDs.

China Stuns U.S. Intelligence with Hypersonic Missile Test

FROM BREITBART NEWS: The Pentagon is aware China has been working on hypersonic weapons technology and other advanced missile systems, unburdened by any of the arms control treaties that impede competing programs in the United States and Russia, but the August test – conducted without advance notice, warning, or publication – reportedly stunned analysts who thought the Chinese were much further behind in the orbital arms race.

“WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY DID THIS,” SAID ONE OF THE FINANCIAL TIMES’ U.S. INTELLIGENCE SOURCES. OTHERS DESCRIBED CHINA’S PROGRESS AS “ASTOUNDING” AND “FAR MORE ADVANCED THAN U.S. OFFICIALS REALIZED.”

North Korea also claimed it tested a hypersonic weapon at the end of September, but its capabilities were far more limited, and the success of the test was debatable. China’s test missile actually flew completely around the Earth in low orbit before plunging into the atmosphere to strike.

Hypersonic missiles are theoretically difficult to track or intercept because they can fly and maneuver at low altitude while traveling at five times the speed of sound or faster. A hypersonic missile would penetrate existing anti-missile defense systems and hit the target so quickly that it could be difficult to tell exactly where it was launched from, and the target would have very little advanced warning before impact.

Using hypersonic missiles at long range requires a method of getting the missile into strike range before it begins its distinctive low-and-fast terminal flight. One method is to boost the weapon into the target area with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which would deploy a “hypersonic glide vehicle” when it gets close to the target. The glide vehicle would complete the final leg of the journey and deliver the conventional or nuclear payload to its target.

A variation on this approach is to put the weapon into low orbit until it comes close to its destination, at which point the hypersonic glide vehicle detaches and plunges into the atmosphere. This appears to be the type of system China tested in August.

U.S. military and private sector analysts quoted by the Financial Times said it would be “destabilizing” if China developed the capability to deliver global nuclear strikes from space, using hypersonic delivery systems that could not be tracked or intercepted. China’s orbital test suggested it would be able to send its missiles over the South Pole if it desired, avoiding U.S. tracking systems concentrated on the North Pole.

The U.S. Army is scheduled to begin deploying a long-range hypersonic missile in late 2023. Some launch and control equipment has already been distributed so troops can begin training on the system. The Army weapon has a range of less than 2,000 miles, making it much less ambitious than the potentially nuclear-capable orbital device tested by China. The Pentagon said last week that other hypersonic weapon projects currently in development are too expensive, with unit costs more than double what the U.S. military currently pays for cruise missiles. The Pentagon asked defense contractors to come up with more “affordable” solutions.

A Chinese government spokesman responded to the Financial Times report on Saturday by insisting all of China’s weapons programs are purely “defensive in nature.”

“WE DON’T HAVE A GLOBAL STRATEGY AND PLANS OF MILITARY OPERATIONS LIKE THE U.S. DOES. AND WE ARE NOT AT ALL INTERESTED IN HAVING AN ARMS RACE WITH OTHER COUNTRIES,” THE SPOKESMAN SAID, ACCUSING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA OF “FABRICATING EXCUSES LIKE THE ‘CHINA THREAT’ TO JUSTIFY ITS ARMS EXPANSION.”

China’s state-run Global Times made a similar argument in a Sunday editorial, although it added some gloating about the vaunted U.S. intelligence system getting caught by surprise when Beijing tested its hypersonic missile in August.

“It is important to note the unstoppable trend that China is narrowing the gap with the US in some key military technologies as China is continuously developing its economic and technological strength,” the editorial boasted.

The Global Times said it is “inevitable that China will take an upper hand over the U.S. military strength” in areas such as Taiwan and the South China Sea – and Beijing plans to “improve the quality of its nuclear deterrence to ensure that the U.S. completely eliminates the idea of nuclear blackmail against China at any critical moment.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11763

China makes unprecedented military moves on Taiwan, then Xi Jinping issues this ridiculous statement

By C. Douglas Golden, The Western Journal
Published October 10, 2021 at 3:46pm

In recent weeks, China has engaged in an unprecedented show of force against Taiwan, flying dozens of fighter planes near the island nation it views as a breakaway province.

Official government media mouthpieces have stated, “the current status of the island of Taiwan is only a short period in history that will definitely come to an end.” Beijing has made clear that it plans to ratchet up military pressure on Taipei — and, in the wake of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan, has warned Taiwan’s pro-independence ruling party that Washington can’t be counted on to come to the rescue.

But, according to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, all China wants is the “reunification” of the motherland “by peaceful means.”

According to CNN, Xi made the remarks at the Great Hall of the People in commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the country’s last imperial dynasty.

“Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland and seek to split the country will come to no good,” Xi said, calling for a reunification under a “one country two systems” policy — a policy which, as you might recall, hasn’t worked out so swimmingly for pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong.

“To achieve the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means is most in line with the overall interests of the Chinese nation, including our compatriots in Taiwan,” Xi said, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.

During the speech, Xi invoked the ideals of Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary who was the first leader of the Chinese republic. According to Xi, Sun believed “unification is the hope of all Chinese nationals,” adding that “[t]he Taiwan issue was a result of the nation that was weak and chaotic, and will surely be resolved with national rejuvenation.”

This message might not be received so warmly in Taiwan, which has long battled the Chinese Communist Party over which government can properly lay claim to Sun Yat-sen’s legacy. But then, the same thing could be said for much of Xi’s message.

For instance, Xi said that pro-independence forces were “the biggest obstacle to the reunification of the motherland and a serious hidden risk to national rejuvenation.”

“Those who forget their ancestors, betray the motherland, or split the country are doomed. They will definitely be spurned by the people and judged by history,” he said.

The most powerful political force in Taiwan at present is the Democratic Progressive Party, the more independence-minded of the two major parties. Of course, the party has U.S. support on its side — but Xi had a warning on that front, too.

“The Taiwan issue is entirely China’s internal affair, and no external interference can be condoned,” he said. The South China Morning Post said Xi avoided “naming any country directly,” but I’d wager there’d be few wrong answers if people were asked to guess what nation the Chinese leader was referring to.

“People should not underestimate Chinese people’s determination to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said. “The task of complete reunification of China must be achieved, and it will definitely be achieved.”

Probably not by peaceful means, though — no matter what Xi has to say.

Xi knows this, too. Beijing has been busy testing both Taiwan and its allies of late; on Monday, China flew 56 warplanes toward Taiwan, described by The Associated Press as “largest show of force on record” and “continuing the three days of sustained military harassment against the self-ruled island.”

“The first sortie of 52 planes included 34 J-16 fighter jets and 12 H-6 bombers, among other aircraft, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense,” the AP reported.

“Later, four more Chinese J-16s flew toward the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone — a buffer outside a country’s airspace.”

For what it’s worth, President Joe Biden’s administration made an early show of support for the Taiwanese government, including approving an arms deal with Taiwan in August over Chinese objections. Much of that went up in smoke after the Biden administration’s abandonment of Afghanistan that same month — a failure Beijing used as a warning to Taiwan and the DPP, arguing it was demonstrative of what would happen if there were ever a cross-straits conflict between Beijing and Taipei.

“The DPP authorities need to keep a sober head, and the secessionist forces should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams,” an Aug. 16 editorial from the Global Times, an English-language propaganda mill for the Chinese Communist Party, read.

“From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the US military won’t come to help. As a result, the DPP authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.”

The CCP’s designs on Taiwan are as old as Taiwan itself, but only a blind man or a fool would fail to notice China’s newfound assertiveness on reunification, peaceful or not, over the last few years. Even before the U.S. failure in Afghanistan, the Global Times was crowing about how China’s irredentist claims regarding Taiwan would come to fruition sooner rather than later.

“We must no longer hold any more illusions,” read an October 2020 article by the Global Times’ editor-in-chief. “The only way forward is for the mainland to fully prepare itself for war and to give Taiwan secessionist forces a decisive punishment at any time. As the secessionist forces’ arrogance continues to swell, the historical turning point is getting closer.”

“It’s certain that the current status of the island of Taiwan is only a short period in history that will definitely come to an end.”

For right now, Biden and Xi seem to be talking about China’s latest raft of saber-rattling, with the U.S. president outwardly appearing convinced no serious issue is afoot.

“I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” Biden said, according to a Reuters report Wednesday. “We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement.”

It wasn’t clear what this “agreement” was, although Reuters speculated, “Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing policy under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.” Our president hasn’t been reading the Global Times or the reports about the fighter planes, apparently.

But, in the midst of all this, Xi is assuring the world all he wants is “the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means.” If what he means by that is that Taiwan will give up the ghost and allow itself to be absorbed by China, this is unlikely.

A 2020 poll by the Taiwan National Security Survey found 75 percent of Taiwanese believed they were an independent country, 60 percent oppose a Hong Kong-style “one country, two systems” setup and support for maintaining the status quo had increased dramatically in just one year, from 24 percent to 31 percent. A plurality of respondents — 47.5 percent — believe independence is more likely than unification.

Even then, it’s worth pointing out “the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means” doesn’t mean the reunification of the motherland by happy means. All it means is that it would happen without China having to fire a shot. Taiwan finds itself dependent on the aid of the United States and its allies. While the two situations aren’t entirely analogous, it’s worth noting this arrangement didn’t work out too well for the former Afghan government, thanks in no small part to President Biden.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11750