The US must adjust to the idea of China being a player in anti-missile technology.
India conducted a successful test of its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a nuclear-capable Agni-5, on Thursday, underscoring a potential threat to China as well as Pakistan.
China is also within range of nuclear-armed North Korean missiles and Japan is mulling whether it should develop similar capabilities. But there has been surprisingly little focus on Chinese efforts to develop a missile defense against these threats.
Bruce W. MacDonald, a top US missile defense expert, says it’s likely that China is stepping up efforts to deploy a strategic missile defense system with a limited number of interceptors in the next few years. He notes that India’s growing nuclear ICBM capability is a larger motivating factor than any threats posed by North Korean, Japanese or US missiles.
“China is worried about North Korea but it is not worried about being attacked by them,” MacDonald told Asia Times. Vague hints that Japan is mulling developing missiles with possible nuclear capability are also not a major Chinese concern at this time, he says.
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