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China tightens rules around personal data collection

Pentagon disturbed by the Chinese military push

China’s increasing military muscle and its strategy to close America’s control in the Asia-Pacific are disturbing the U.S. defense establishment.

American officials see the problem quickly accumulating on multiple fronts. Beijing’s developing nuclear arsenal, progress in space, cyber, and missile technologies, and perils to Taiwan seem like a threat.

A possible change in the global power scale at stake has supported the United States for decades. A more beneficial realignment to China does not threaten the United States but could hinder U.S. alliances in Asia. New signs of how the Pentagon aims to administer the China challenge may arrive in coming weeks from Biden administration policy discussions on nuclear weapons, global troop basing, and overall defense strategy.

For now, officials wonder how Beijing is leading the resources, technology, and political will to make speedy gains. It is so fast that the Biden administration is trying to reorient all U.S. foreign and defense policy aspects.

The brand-new example of surprising speed was China’s examination of a hypersonic weapon that consisted of partially orbiting Earth before reentering the atmosphere and gliding on a maneuverable path to its target. The weapon system’s design is to evade U.S. missile defenses. Beijing claimed it was examining a reusable space vehicle, not a missile. However, the test seemed to have alarmed U.S. officials.

Discussions over test ahead

According to Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the test was very close to being a Sputnik moment, similar to the 1957 launching by the Soviet Union of the world’s leading space satellite, which caught the world by surprise and encouraged doubts the United States had fallen behind technologically. What happened was a nuclear arm and space race that eventually bankrupted the Soviet Union.

Milley and other U.S. officials have refused to discuss details of the Chinese test, stating they are secret. He described it as very worrying for the United States. However, He continued that China’s military modernization problems run much more severe.

In recent months, private satellite imagery has exposed significant additions of launch silos. This implies the possibility that China intends to expand its fleet of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs on the nuclear front.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons specialist at the Federation of American Scientists, states that China seems to have around 250 ICBM silos under development. He says it is more than ten times the amount in operation today. The U.S. military, by contrast, has 400 active ICBM silos and 50 in reserve.

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