OPINION / COLUMNISTS
How anxious is US about report on China’s ‘hypersonic weapons’? Biden gives the answer
Published: Oct 21, 2021 08:13 PM
US President Joe Biden speaks at the dedication of the Dodd Centre for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut on October 15. Photo: AFP

US President Joe Biden speaks at the dedication of the Dodd Centre for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut on October 15. Photo: AFP



Another exclusive report by the Financial Times claimed that China conducted two - not one - hypersonic weapon test this summer, which "stunned the Pentagon and US intelligence." The report cited a person familiar with the first test in July as saying US government scientists were struggling to understand the capability, which the US does not currently possess, adding that China's achievement appeared "to defy the laws of physics." 

When US President Joe Biden was asked whether he was worried about the development of the high-speed maneuverable weapons, he responded, "yes," according to the report.

Earlier this week, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson denied the previous report by the Financial Times, but the somewhat nervous comments from the US did not stop. The White House said it has already raised concerns about China's "hypersonic weapon tests" through diplomatic channels.

If the report is true, I believe the Chinese people will be happy. This breakthrough will help contain the US strategic arrogance over China and further exclude the possibility that the US blackmails China with nuclear weapons at key junctures.

 "Hypersonic weapons are strategic game-changers with the dangerous potential to fundamentally undermine strategic stability as we know it," US Senator Angus King said on Monday. Such concerns are representative in the US. The US has invested the most resources in a missile defense system, which Washington views as a trump card against China and Russia. Nonetheless, hypersonic weapons mean the invalidation of US anti-missile network.

But I would like to tell the Americans: please stay rational, return to the logic of the great power game in the nuclear age, and make a practical adjustment of security concept.

The US long tried to build a military security system in which it could destroy other powers with nuclear weapons, while others could not do the same to the US, and established it as an overwhelming bargaining chip for its domination of the world order. This is an unattainable mad idea. All previous technological advances and actual deployments have been illusory. To reach the balance of nuclear terror that guarantees mutual destruction is the real logic for peace and stability in the nuclear age. It is impossible for the US to change it to a situation where only Washington can have complete and effective nuclear deterrence. 

Even if the US' missile-defense system fails, it does not necessarily mean that the country will lose security. No normal country, or countries, with the last vestige of rationality on Earth, would voluntarily launch a nuclear attack against the US. The US' super-nuclear retaliatory capabilities are enough to discourage any idea of a "pre-emptive strike" against it. Such confidence is what the US should have, as long as it is not caught up in some kind of hysteria.

China and Russia don't have any will to challenge the conventional national security of the US. Instead, the two countries are willing to coordinate with the US over their respective interests in a bid to avoid conflicts and confrontations. When the US feels its capability of deterring China and Russia may be fundamentally dissolved, it needs serious introspection: Could its basic policy thinking about China and Russia be wrong? If Washington makes policies based on a false premise, sooner or later it will find itself lost in illusion. 

I am somewhat worried about US elites of international politics. Their country is the most militarily advanced and secured country in the world, but they have acted as if the US is against the wall. The US can be said to be most neurotic in the world. The root cause is their incorrect security concept. They want the US to be absolutely safe. In that case, other countries must obey the US, or they will be struck by the US. However, this kind of absolute security does not exist in today's world.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn


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