Early last week in an historic power move to achieve absolute power, on full display of the world stage, to all of China, to the tributing perimeter nations, and to the Western World, Xi Jinping was elected to an unprecedented third term as General Secretary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). General Secretary Xi Jinping, consolidated his absolute power by eliminating all dissenters to his policies and fellow contenders for the presidency from his Politburo Standing Committee to lead China as the aspiring single World Power. General Secretary Xi’s orchestrated and public humiliation of his number one contender, Hu Jintao, during the election event of the 20th Party Congress was an unequivocal power statement to all. The New York Times captured and analyzed each moment of this power move and humiliation in front of the Politburo. There is now complete clarity and resolve of the Communist Party’s mandate for reunification of China with Taiwan and to choose a winning battle against the United States to prove to China and the world who is the true World Power.
In his confirmation ceremony, Xi stated that his new term would be specifically focused on global expansion, including the goal to encompass Taiwan.
“China is prepared to invest more resources in global development cooperation. It is committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting and assisting other developing countries in accelerating development.”
“In the face of serious provocations from separatist activities by Taiwan independence forces and interference in Taiwan affairs by external forces, we have resolutely waged a major struggle against separatism and interference, demonstrating our strong determination and ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose Taiwan independence.”
Serendipitously, late last week the U.S. Department of Defense released the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), including the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review and the 2022 Missile Defense Review.
“The PRC remains our most consequential strategic competitor for the coming decades. I have reached this conclusion based on the PRC’s increasingly coercive actions to reshape the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to fit its authoritarian preferences, alongside a keen awareness of the PRC’s clearly stated intentions and the modernization and expansion of its military. As President Biden’s National Security Strategy notes, the PRC is “the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order, and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so.”
• National Defense Strategy, page 3. October 27, 2022.
In countering China, the NDS put forward two bold statements. The first: declaring Guam as US Homeland and an attack on Guam is an attack on the U.S. Homeland; the second being the elimination of the North Korean regime if any nuclear strike on the United States happens. This combined with a U.S deterrence matched with Allied partnerships in the Indo-Pacific will be the main weapon and strategy against China.
“Guam is home to key regional power projection platforms and logistical nodes, and is an essential operating base for U.S. efforts to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Guam’s defense, which will include various active and passive missile defense capabilities, will contribute to the overall integrity of integrated deterrence and bolster U.S. operational strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.”
• Missile Defense Review, page 7. October 27, 2022.
“Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies and partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of that regime. There is no scenario in which the Kim regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive.”
• Nuclear Posture Review, Page 12. October 27, 2022.
We must recognize that China and North Korea are Allies of one another. North Korea does not have the organic capabilities or technologies to demonstrate the volume and sophistication of testing their missile launches that the world has witnessed over the past several months and years. While the nature of their alliance remains complex, the foundational character of their malign threats and intentions can be traced to rapacious Authoritarianism and Communism. Together, they seek to dominate the Indo-Pacific region. Their actions are often aligned and coordinated. We must confront their collective threats of missile proliferation and the use of nuclear weapons with unmatched repercussions and dominance across all domains.
“Countries around the world have a vital interest in a free and open international system. Close collaboration with Allies and partners is foundational for U.S. national security interests and for our collective ability to address the challenges that the PRC and Russia present, while responsibly managing the array of other threats we face.”
• National Defense Strategy, Page 14. October 27, 2022.
Australia announced a partnership on November 1st, with the United States to enable long term basing of six B-52 strategic bombers south of Darwin at Tindal Air Base, Northern Australia. This now puts a southern, forward based strategic location for U.S. power projection, in addition to Guam in the West, and to Alaska in the North, in triangulation in the Indo-Pacific for deterrence against China. This base, like Guam and Alaska, will be a hub and spoke strategic capability to include long distance fires and F-35s. Both the hubs and spokes off of Australia, Guam and Alaska will have to be defended against Chinese ballistic, hypersonic, and cruise missiles. Australia has begun the procurement process in 2019 to purchase and deploy NASAMS as their air defense system. The NASAMS firing units are currently in Australia and in the final stages of assembly and tests. It is to be noted that in alignment with these efforts, the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom are developing the new Australian nuclear-powered submarine fleet.
Japan is another prominent partner in the Pacific with the United States in deterrence against China, and relies heavily on their Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) for defense of their homeland and air space. The Japanese are extremely capable with their aircraft based across their first island chain of islands, made up of F-35’s, F-15J’s, F-15EX’s, and F-16’s in both capacity and capability. The United States is permanently retiring the F-15C’s in Japan and in the United States which are well-past their initial planned service life. The F-15EX’s are missile defense air breathing platforms built to replace the F-15C’s and could take a couple years to deliver. These advanced aircraft, well-suited to augmenting cruise missile defense and providing defensive counter-air capabilities, must be fielded to Japan as soon as possible. As an interim measure, the United States will rotate other fighter aircraft (F-22’s, F-35’s, F-15E’s, and F-16’s) through Kadena Air Base on Okinawa to be on par with Allied Air Superiority around Japan in the interim until the permanently-based F-15EX’s arrive. But let there be no mistake; rotational presence is a partial, half-measure inconsistent with the NSS and NDS and sends the wrong message to the PRC at a perilous time. The US Congress must fund via PDI, and the USAF must field, permanently based air superiority fighters at Kadena with minimal delay.
One glaring policy strategy missing from the NDS is the exclusion of a definitive space policy. This is essential in the strategic deterrence of China as the country is weaponizing Space to gain military superiority. Moving forward, this cannot be ignored under the false hope and prayers that China will not exploit the Space Domain to its fullest to seek reunification with Taiwan, and a change of the current World Order.
Dominance across all domains cannot be achieved without dominance in the Space Domain. We will request to craft the right Space Policy and the requisite Space capabilities to counter the intentions of our adversaries to weaponize Space. Integrated Deterrence and Defense can only be achieved with the collective dominance of the Space Domain by the US and our Allies and Partners. Beyond the NDS, MDR, and NPR, a coherent and compelling Space Policy can address this National Security challenge of China.