Pompeo to Portray China as a Threat in Major Arctic Policy Speech

April FrancisMay 06, 2019

The capabilities that China acquires by these means include "dynamic random access memory, aviation technologies, and antisubmarine warfare technologies", all of which have "the potential to degrade core U.S. operational and technological advantages".

The Guardian said the report came out as the Pentagon warned of increased Chinese activities in the Arctic region which could pave the way for a stronger military presence - specifically for the distribution of vessels that can prevent a nuclear attack.

Still, wary of provoking the U.S., its allies or regional governments, Chinese leaders "employ tactics short of armed conflict to pursue China's strategic objectives through activities calculated to fall below the threshold of providing armed conflict", the report said.

If push soon comes to shove, however, the Pentagon cautioned Chinese forces are "increasingly able to project power" and "contest us military superiority". He went on to emphasize that USA efforts to counter those developments include rising deployments of next-generation F-35 jets and continuing overflights of strategic areas such as the South China Sea.

Last August, China successfully tested its hypersonic glide vehicle, the XINGKONG-2, that it publicly said is a hypersonic waverider vehicle. The report mentions the word "Arctic" 21 times - last year's report mentioned it one time. On January 2, President Xi Jinping said in his speech that China has the right to exercise its power to bring Taiwan under mainland control, but it will try to pursue "a peaceful re-integration".

"China's attitude toward Taiwan continues to be threatening as they use elements of persuasion and coercion against the island", Schriver said. In other words, Washington fears that Beijing seeks "bridgeheads" in Europe, to influence waters dominated by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which has also expressed concern about China's activities in the Arctic.

"My sense of the way the Chinese operate is somewhat incremental", Brown said in an interview this week at Bloomberg's headquarters in NY.

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The Defense Department foresaw China establishing military bases around the world to secure Belt and Road trade routes, including a surface and submarine presence in the Arctic.

"They can hide the necessary ice strengthening that is required for their submarines to enter ice conditions and so we would not be seeing them doing the necessary work for the emplacement of the upward-looking sonar, the hardening of their sail, the retractable fins: All of this can just simply be hidden from sight as they're doing it", Huebert said.

The US Defense Department says China is gaining the ability to "contest US military superiority", and will likely have two domestically-built aircraft carriers in service by 2022. And China's air force has flown its J-20 fifth-generation aircraft, Schriver said.

The report said China's advancement and expanding reach increases the risk of an accident that could lead to a conflict, so it's important to maintain an open dialogue between leaders of both countries.

China has set up armed posts in the disputed South China Sea.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, in a news statement issued on Wednesday for the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said a Chinese long-range bomber "if successful, would make it only one of three nations" to "possess a nuclear triad" of land, sea and air-based nuclear capabilities.

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