Rising Sino-US tensions aren’t going away, not tomorrow, not next month or next year. There’s a geopolitical rivalry at play, or as we’ve explained before: Thucydides Trap.
China’s rapid military expansion in the Pacific has been a wake-up call to Washington. Beijing has also spent the last decade modernizing its military with the latest war technology, including fifth-generation fighters and hypersonic weapons.
President Trump, the Pentagon, and the military-industrial complex recognize a conflict is ahead; otherwise, why would the president plow $2 trillion into modernizing the military over the last couple of years?
When it comes to hypersonic technology, the US is behind the curve in the deployment of these super-fast weapons onto the modern battlefield. On the other hand, China and Russia have already claimed they’ve fielded these missiles that can travel multiples of the speed of sound.
President Trump boasted Ameria’s hypersonic capabilities in May, saying a “super-duper” missile in development can travel 17-times faster, though the Pentagon at the time was unwilling to confirm.
“We are building, right now, incredible military equipment at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We have no choice. We have to do it — with the adversaries, we have out there. We have a — I call it the ‘super-duper missile.’ And I heard the other night, 17 times faster than what they have right now,” Trump said in May.
Now there’s more color on the hypersonic missile the president was touting. A senior defense official told CNN this week, President Trump has taken “special interest” in hypersonics revealing that the new missile can travel “17 times faster” than the speed of sound.
The defense official is referring to a “hypersonic glide body” test over the Pacific in March.
U.S. Navy and U.S. Army jointly tests hypersonic glide body pic.twitter.com/9Fr8YvlBUS
— Dylan Malyasov (@DylanMalyasov) March 21, 2020
“What he was referring to, really, was the recent flight test that we’ve performed in March where we flew 17 times the speed of sound,” the senior defense official said.
CNN noted the US won’t have hypersonic missiles fielded until 2023 while China and Russia already have there’s in the field.
As China challenges America’s predominance, a new Cold War is already underway. The rise of China and the stumbling of the US is one that could suggest tensions between both countries will continue until there’s a conflict.