Washington Times on April 25, 2016, published a commentary by two Asia experts, James A. Lyons and Richard D. Fisher Jr on theI necessity to deter Chinese military aggression with superior strength. The foreign policy of the Obama administration encourages aggression. Excerpts below:
Recent reports that the Obama White House sought to muzzle criticism of China by PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris — which he has denied — at least contributes to a longstanding impression that the White House has preferred to pull its punches as China seeks to impose increasing control of the strategic South China Sea.
China has deployed to Woody Island in the Paracel Island Group its 150-kilometer-range HQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles and then its 400-kilometer-range YJ-62 anti-ship cruise missiles. This now sets a pattern for Chinese missile deployment to its new large bases in the Spratly Island Group: Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef, which is only 216 kilometers away from Palawan Island of the Philippines, a U.S. defense treaty ally. China could also be building a new base on Scarborough Shoal, only 265 kilometers away from Subic Bay in the Philippines.
In demonstrations executed by PACOM, on March 23, the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine USS Ohio made its first visit to Subic Bay, a former and future base for U.S. naval forces. Then in the first week of April as part of the annual U.S.-Philippine “Balikatan” military exercises, the United States for the first time deployed its precision-guided High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.
This is the correct way to begin to respond to China’s increasing missile threat. The Ohio class submarines can carry up to 154 1,300-kilometer-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the U.S. Navy has four of these submarines. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System demonstrated the firing of 70-kilometer-range artillery rockets and can fire the 300-kilometer-range Army Tactical Missile System.
…Washington needs to deploy a “wall of missiles” that can utterly destroy China’s new air-naval and missile bases if it uses them against U.S. friends and allies.
…deployment of hundreds of Army tactical missiles to the Philippines [is needed] to allow for instant retaliation if China uses its new island military bases. Pentagon could convert older U.S. Air Force bombers like the B-52 or B-1 to carry scores of small but smart and long-range missiles, making them “arsenal aircraft.” But the U.S. Navy also requires “arsenal ships” and “arsenal submarines” to complete a “wall of missiles.”
When used in concert, the arsenal aircraft, arsenal ship and arsenal submarine could be used to overwhelm China’s new small island bases in the South China Sea, quickly mobilize multiple thousands of missiles to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, or deter China from attacking Japan’s islands in the East China Sea.
These U.S. missile platforms are needed to counter China’s other missiles, the ones usually called North Korean intercontinental range ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Washington’s goal should be to rapidly build these arsenal platforms and equip them with new intermediate- and medium-range ballistic missiles, which complement defensive missiles. Such a “wall of missiles” can deter China well into the next decade, which is far preferable to allowing China to start skirmishes that will lead to wars and destroy the peace that is the foundation of Asian and American prosperity.
James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Richard D. Fisher Jr. is a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Comment: The geopolitical danger of China is obvious.The country is the largest continental nation in Eurasia and presently occupies the globe’s most advantageous position. As Sir Halford Mackinder pointed out already in 1919 China then had the potential to build for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western.Already in the 1950s China has called for the return of so called “lost territories”. Chinese maps also include eastern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia.
Chinese civilization has a superficial Western modernity but also a heritage of hydraulic civilization similar to civilizations in the Near East. In the 21st century China is still an oriental despotism that believes Nepal, Burma, Indochina, Taiwan, Korea, the island of Sakhalin, Outer Mongolia, Amuria, and Ussuria should be returned to the Fatherland. The belief that Chinese expansion can be contained by including the country in global trade organizations is a false hope. At present the annual GDP growth is slowing down but this development may only hasten the aggressive policies especially in the South China Sea. Peking may feel it needs to use its growing military strength before a serious slowdown of the economy. An American “wall of missiles” is therefore a prudent contribution to the defense of the democracies of East Asia.
Before Mackinder the Swedish Professor Rudolf Kjellén, the father of geopolitics, warned that Japan’s soul in the Chinese body would mean a world empire that would put both the United States and Russia in the shadow.