• By The Financial District

U.S. ANTI-CHINA MISSILE NETWORK IN FIRST ISLAND CHAIN FRAZZLES BEIJING

The U.S. will bolster its conventional deterrence against China, establishing a network of precision-strike missiles along the so-called first island chain as part of $27.4 billion in spending to be considered for the Indo-Pacific theater over the next six years, Ryo Nakamura reported for Nikkei.

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They form the core proposals of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) that the US Indo-Pacific Command has submitted to Congress, and Nikkei reviewed.


“The greatest danger to the future of the United States continues to be an erosion of conventional deterrence," the document said.


"Without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China is emboldened to take action in the region and globally to supplant US interests. As the Indo-Pacific's military balance becomes more unfavorable, the US accumulates additional risk that may embolden adversaries to unilaterally attempt to change the status quo."


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Specifically, it called for "the fielding of an Integrated Joint Force with precision-strike networks west of the International Date Line along the first island chain, integrated air missile defense in the second island chain, and a distributed force posture that provides the ability to preserve stability, and if needed, dispense and sustain combat operations for extended periods."


The first island chain consists of a group of islands including Taiwan, Okinawa and the Philippines, which China sees as the first line of defense. Beijing's "anti-access/area denial" strategy seeks to push American forces out of the East and South China seas within the first island chain.


However, China’s military has been beset with fears that the US had already mined the South China Sea and that drones armed with missiles would attack Chinese ships, prompting Beijing to ask whether the reports reaching the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were true. The story amused Pentagon no end.



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