Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday that Moscow is helping China build a ballistic missile launch warning system.
During a conference at the Valdai Club of foreign policy experts in Sochi, Russia, Putin said the Kremlin is helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime develop this system that, since the Cold War times, only the United States and Russia possess, according to AP.
“This is a very serious thing that will radically enhance China’s defense capability,” Putin added.
China and Russia, a growing threat to the United States
The United States abandoned the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty this summer after asserting that Russia was building intermediate-range missiles, contrary to what the agreement provided.
U.S. Army Officer Eric Wesley, director of the Future Army and Concepts Center, explained, according to Defense News, that both Russia and China have been watching recent U.S. military operations.
“One of the conclusions they drew is that they don’t want close combat with the United States,” Wesley told Defense News.
So the solution for Russia and China is to invest in military technology that keeps the United States at a distance.
“What they have built is an overlapping capability of weapons systems in areas that encompass their areas of operation and that are able to extend their lethality to any region they want,” he added.
The Chinese arms race
Another threat to the U.S. is the supersonic weapons that both China and Russia claim to have developed.
In fact, earlier this week, China launched new military hardware that includes a “hypersonic” missile that experts believe could be difficult for the United States to counter.
The missile, known as the DF-17, can in theory maneuver sharply at many times the speed of sound, making it extremely difficult to defend against, according to the British media The Guardian.
According to Defense News expert Jen Judson, the United States has failed to develop such supersonic weapons.
“We’ve been too busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Judson said, adding that these supersonic weapons are particularly dangerous not only because of their speed and enormous maneuverability, but because they can operate at altitudes that make them difficult to detect.
Trump’s defense policy
President Donald Trump has reacted since the beginning of his term to these challenges and has taken very ambitious measures in relation to national defense.
During his eight-year term, Barack Obama reduced military personnel, maintained conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost millions of dollars, set limits on defense spending and allocated the lowest budgets in recent years, according to Military Times.
In contrast, President Trump is determined to reduce the U.S. military presence in conflict zones such as Afghanistan, from where he will withdraw some 7,000 soldiers.
On the other hand, he created a new military corps, the Space Force, a fundamental strategic area to protect satellite communications, vital for national defense.
Finally, in 2018, the president approved the highest military budget in the country’s history, some $716 billion, in addition to announcing a 2.6% salary increase for the military.
The Trump administration is aware of the threat posed by China and Russia, which in recent years have developed tools capable of blocking communications in space or pulling down satellites using ground-based tools.