- Sputnik International
Find top stories and features from Asia and the Pacific region. Keep updated on major political stories and analyses from Asia and the Pacific. All you want to know about China, Japan, North and South Korea, India and Pakistan, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Pentagon: China Aims to Unseat US as King of the Skies

© AP Photo / Kin CheungChinese Air Force personnel stand in front of a Chinese-made J-10 jet fighter.
Chinese Air Force personnel stand in front of a Chinese-made J-10 jet fighter. - Sputnik International
The United States sees China as a serious threat to its military superiority in air and space, so the Pentagon is seeking new technologies and systems to keep America ahead of its rival, the US deputy defense secretary said.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told to a group of military and civilian aerospace experts that China was "quickly closing the technological gaps."

A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter flies ahead of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu off the coast of Hawaii during Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2014. - Sputnik International
US Invites China to Joint War Games After Military Agreement

He said Beijing is developing radar-evading aircraft, advanced reconnaissance planes, sophisticated missiles and top-notch electronic warfare equipment, Reuters reported.

When it comes to military capabilities, China "continues to improve at a very impressive rate," Work added.

In fact, the United States is so concerned with China's rapidly developing capabilities that it established the China Aerospace Studies Initiative (CASI), a joint venture between the US Air Force and the RAND Corporation think-tank aimed at uncovering Beijing's aerospace goals.

"As the Department of Defense, we're the hedge force…. We say, 'Look, here are capabilities that we see that the Chinese are developing and it's important for us to be able to counter those,” he said at the CASI inaugural conference.

In this undated artist's rendition released by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) showing the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) - Sputnik International
Faster Than Light: China's Hypersonic WU-14 Getting on Pentagon's Nerves

Citing a Harvard study on rising powers confronting established powers, Work said such interactions often result in war, Reuters reported. Therefore, the Defense Department must "hedge against this international competition turning more heated."

Traditionally, the United States has felt the best way to avoid such a conflict is by keeping a strong nuclear and conventional deterrence superior to that of any rival, he added.

Work said the United States has relied on technological superiority for the past 25 years, but now "the margin of technological superiority upon which we have become so accustomed… is steadily eroding."

To adjust, he said, the Pentagon is working to develop new technologies to maintain its edge and lower the cost of responding to attacks, Reuters reported. Directed energy weapons, for example, might be able to shoot down missiles that cost a hundred times the price of a jolt of energy.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала