“Mutually Assured Destruction” guiding hypersonic missile policy in Washington & Beijing
China’s new hypersonic missile vehicle is primarily designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers, military expert Chen Hu told the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) in yet another admission of Beijing’s increasingly hostile geopolitical posturing.
The WU-14, a hypersonic glide vehicle which can penetrate missile defense systems by traveling at up to ten times the speed of sound, underwent its first test flight earlier this month.
Despite assurances by China’s defense ministry that the new vehicle was not aimed at any particular country, Chinese military expert Chen Hu told state media that the system, “can surely be used against US carriers in any region around the globe” and that it was “designed to strike large military targets including US aircraft carriers.”
Noting that the development of the vehicle was necessary in order to maintain the balance of power in East Asia, Chen said that its purpose is to prevent the United States from using its hypersonic weapons against China, adding that the Cold War-era doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” is guiding policy both in Washington and Beijing.
Last year, China reportedly sunk a mock U.S. aircraft carrier utilizing the DF-21D anti-ship missile, dubbed the “carrier killer,” during a wargame which took place in the Gobi Desert.
Bellicose rhetoric directed at the United States by China has intensified in recent months in light of heightened tensions over the disputed Senkaku Islands.
Last month, Beijing bragged that its first aircraft carrier combat task force, led by the inaugural Liaoning warship, matched anything the United States had to offer.
A lengthy editorial which appeared in Chinese state media last month explained how the Chinese military’s current reformation process was part of a move by President Xi Jinping to prepare the People’s Liberation Army for war in response to US aggression in the Asia Pacific, developments which have prompted “major changes” in China’s national security situation.
Beijing has also pontificated about China’s ability to attack US military bases in the Western Pacific, as well as releasing a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear strike launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force.