U.S. intelligence is looking at a plethora of new threats from China, including an increase in nuclear launchers, more threats to Taiwan, space missiles, and strengthening its weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
The assessment comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, which have worsened in the wake of the spy balloon China sent over the US, and reports that Xi Jinping is considering deadly aid to Russia for its war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s budget proposal includes an unprecedented increase in funding for the Pentagon in a time of peace — $835 billion, up from the $816 billion in the current budget.
The extra money is due to escalating tensions with China, which the Pentagon sees as a challenger to US military leadership.
US intelligence is watching a plethora of new threats from China
The budget includes significant funding for long-range air force and navy munitions that could be used in a possible future conflict with China, an official said. Bloomberg News.
The Pentagon has warned Congress that China now has more land-based intercontinental missile launchers than the US
“The number of fixed and mobile land-based ICBM launchers in China exceeds the number of ICBM launchers in the United States,” the commander of the US Strategic Command, which oversees nuclear forces, wrote to the United States on Jan. 1. Senate and House Armed Services Committees. 26.
Beijing is also looking at space weapons, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released its annual threat assessment on Wednesday.
“China has also held demonstrations of orbital technology, which, while not weapons tests in space, prove China’s ability to deploy future space weapons in space,” it noted.
The Biden administration is considering how to respond. The US has a larger nuclear arsenal than Beijing because it also closely monitors Russian nuclear forces.
But the president’s budget request includes $170 billion for weapons procurement and $145 billion for research and development, much of which will go to new fighter jets as officials remain wary of China’s flexing muscles in the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan proves another point of tension between the two superpowers.
China has warned Taiwan that it will take even more aggressive “countermeasures” than last summer’s large-scale military exercises when President Tsai Ing-wen meets with Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy in California next month.
McCarthy confirmed the meeting will take place when Tsai is at the Ronald Reagan Library in April to give a speech.
“I will when she gets to America,” he said. “But that has nothing to do with my trip and whether I would go to Taiwan or not, and China can’t tell me where or when to go.”
But his actions “will inevitably create new tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and China’s countermeasures may be even more decisive than those taken during Nancy Pelosi’s (former Speaker of the US House of Representatives) last visit to the island,” the statement said. Chinese state media Wednesday.
China staged large-scale military exercises last August when Pelosi visited Taiwan and met Tsai, including firing missiles over the island in a show of force, sending warships across the centerline of the Taiwan Strait and simulating a blockade of Taiwan with multi-day military exercises near the island.
In recent weeks, China has shown its might to Taiwan by sending 25 warplanes and three warships to the island.
In response, Biden approved the sale of hundreds of missiles for F-16 fighter jets to the island.
Taiwan upgraded its fleet of 141 F-16 fighter jets and ordered an additional 66 aircraft from the US.
China is eyeing space-based missile technology, the Office of National Intelligence warns
‘The number of fixed and mobile ICBM launchers on land in China exceeds the number of ICBM launchers in the United States’ – Congress was warned (over a missile silo under construction in North Central China)
China is also increasing its weapons of mass destruction capabilities
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its annual threat assessment for 2023 on Wednesday.
It warned that China can build on its actions from 2022, and will include more centerline crossings of the Taiwan Strait or missile overflights of Taiwan.
“In 2023, Beijing will continue to exert pressure and possibly provide incentives for Taiwan to move towards unification and will respond to what it sees as greater engagement between the US and Taiwan,” the assessment read.
Beijing claims the United States is using Taiwan as a “pawn” to undermine China’s rise, and will continue to take stronger measures to counter the perceived surge in support for Taiwan. Beijing can build on its actions from 2022, including more crossings of the centerline of the Taiwan Strait or overflying Taiwan with missiles.”
The US, like many other countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is required by US law to provide the country with the means to defend itself.
Washington has long pursued a policy of “strategic ambiguity,” meaning it did not clarify whether it would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.