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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

U.S. to build missile network against China 

  • March 5, 2021
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Nikkei led with a report from Washington claiming that the United States government and Congress will consider setting aside $27.4 billion over six years from fiscal 2022 for strengthening deterrence against China in the Indo-Pacific region. The paper speculated that Washington will consider establishing a network of precision-strike missiles along the so-called first island chain stretching from Okinawa through the Philippines under the plan. Nikkei wrote that it learned of the plan from the budget proposals the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command submitted to Congress earlier this month. The paper wrote that the document says in part that the United States will focus resources on vital military capabilities to deter China and that the proposals are aimed at persuading potential adversaries that any preemptive military action would be too costly and likely to fail. The paper speculated that growing concerns over China’s activities in the East and South China Seas and with respect to Taiwan are behind the budget request for $27.4 billion, a 36% increase from the request made in fiscal 2020.  

 

A senior Japanese government official told the paper that Tokyo has not discussed such a plan with Washington, but the Indo-Pacific Command’s establishing a network of missiles countering China “would be a plus for Japan.” The paper wrote that challenges lie ahead for realizing a missile network against China because Asian nations who accept the U.S. missile deployment would face the risk of becoming the target of a Chinese attack or economic retaliation.  

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