House Republicans said the recent missile test by China shows how woefully prepared the U.S. is as President Obama moves toward his Asia “rebalancing” foreign policy project.
China successfully tested for the first time a hypersonic cruise missile intended to get through enemy defenses at ten times the speed of sound.
“While round after round of defense cuts have knocked America’s technological advantage on its back, the Chinese and other competitor nations push towards military parity with the United States; in some cases, as in this one, they appear to be leaping ahead of us,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Reps. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said in a joint statement.
“This situation does nothing to support peaceful coexistence in the Pacific. We have dithered for three decades now, delaying badly needed replacement equipment for our troops, relying on hardware that was built during the Reagan years,” they added.
“The Asia Pacific is fast becoming a powder keg. Allowing nations that do not share our respect for free and open avenues of commerce to gain a strategic advantage over the United States and her allies only brings us closer to lighting the fuse.”
A recent report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission confirmed that the People’s Republic is increasing its defense spending and military modernization projects.
The committee found that China is more prepared than ever to strike at Taiwan and that Obama administration officials need to be urged to visit Taiwan to lend their support — with consistent congressional oversight.
They found that China’s rapid, thorough modernization of its military means the People’s Republic has 65 submarines that can employ intercontinental ballistic missiles, torpedoes, mines or anti-ship cruise missiles, and has made even more dangerous strides in its cyberespionage campaign that threatens U.S. industry, infrastructure and military operations. In March the PRC hiked its defense budget by more than 10 percent.
The People’s Liberation Army is “rapidly expanding and diversifying its ability to strike U.S. bases, ships, and aircraft throughout the Asia Pacific region including those that it previously could not reach, such as U.S. military facilities on Guam.”