A warning to China? US plans to deploy medium-range missile launchers in Asia-Pacific

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In a move seen as a clear warning to China, the United States is planning to deploy medium-range missile launchers across the Asia-Pacific region. This strategic decision aims to bolster the US military presence in response to China’s military advancements.
The US plans to deploy ground-based systems capable of firing SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles, significantly enhancing its strike capabilities in the region.This decision comes as the US Navy’s current missile capabilities are perceived as falling short against China’s military growth.
Missile Capabilities: The SM-6 is designed for extended-range anti-air warfare with over 240km operational range, while the Tomahawk is a subsonic cruise missile capable of hitting targets up to 2,500km away, a South China Morning Post report said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has voiced strong opposition, stating that the deployment seeks “unilateral military superiority” at China’s doorstep, which undermines regional peace and stability. Spokeswoman Mao Ning emphasized that China maintains a defensive stance and has no interest in a military power competition.
Experts suggest that these deployments are not just about power projection but also about enhancing multi-domain operational capabilities against potential Chinese actions, such as an invasion of Taiwan.
The use of land-based launchers, like the Typhon system operated in Guam, offers advantages in mobility and reduced detectability compared to naval vessels and warplanes. This makes them harder for enemies to locate and strike.
With these systems in place, the US could effectively defend strategic locations and challenge Chinese military movements across crucial zones like the Taiwan Strait.
The US withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019, citing Russian violations and the need to counter China’s missile capabilities, paving the way for these new deployments.
According to Pentagon reports, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force has a significant number of intermediate and medium-range ballistic missiles, showcasing a clear geographic and numerical advantage over the US in the region.
This strategic military upgrade by the US aims to counterbalance China’s growing influence and assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific, ensuring stability and deterring potential conflicts in key areas like the Taiwan Strait.

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