Thursday, Sept 17th, 2009
China’s increasingly advanced weaponry could undermine US military power in the Pacific, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday.
Echoing US intelligence guidelines released on Tuesday that warned of Beijing’s military modernization, Gates said US naval carriers and air bases in the Pacific faced new threats from China.
“In fact, when considering the military-modernization programs of countries like China, we should be concerned less with their potential ability to challenge the US symmetrically — fighter to fighter or ship to ship — and more with their ability to disrupt our freedom of movement and narrow our strategic options,” Gates said in a speech to the Air Force Association.
“Investments in cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weaponry, and ballistic missiles could threaten America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific — in particular our forward air bases and carrier strike groups,” Gates said in National Harbor, Maryland.