As these tensions simmer, an op-ed for Asia Times by Bill Gertz points out that China has been stockpiling its missile arsenal for years, over concerns of US aggression.
"Beijing’s arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles has been growing steadily for decades as new systems were fielded in an array of ranges – short, medium and intercontinental," Gertz writes. "Several long-range cruise missiles, capable of carrying nuclear or conventional payloads also are deployed."
In addition, Beijing has secretly developed a hypersonic missile, the DF-ZF glide vehicle, which ascends to the Earth’s upper atmosphere in order to bypass anti-missile defense systems.
As the United States plans to deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system on the Korean peninsula, ostensibly aimed at deterring North Korean aggression, Beijing has been forced to beef up its own missile defenses.
"To develop suitable capabilities of missile defense is necessary for China to maintain national security and improve defense capabilities. It is not targeting any other country or target, nor is it jeopardizing the international strategic equilibrium," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Sr. Col. Yang Yujun told reporters last month.…
According to a report in China Military Online, escalations between the two superpowers will lead to the inevitable.
"The problem is not whether the war will break out, but when," the report said. "Our task is to develop the 'trump card' weapon for China before the war."How's that pivot to Asia working' for ya?
New Arms Race: China, US Prepare for Missile Warfare