U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Calls for $27 Billion More in Military Spending to Counter Communist China

A U.S. dual carrier group conducts a joint exercise in the South China Sea, Feb. 9, 2021. (Photo credit: U.S. Navy)

As U.S. foreign policy becomes increasingly focused on Asia, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command this week asked Congress for a $27 billion increase in spending over the next six years to counter the Chinese Communist Party. The Pentagon has also issued frequent warnings of the Chinese Communist Party’s military threat in recent days.

The report, prepared by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Chief Adm. Philip Davidson, is similar to a proposal released by the command last year, though it contains some key changes, according to U.S. media outlet Axios. Last year’s report was required by the so-called Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), which was included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). the PDI is also included in the 2021 NDAA. It was placed in the military spending bill to ensure INDOPACOM has what it needs to counter the Chinese Communist Party and fulfill the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which outlines the military’s shift from counterterrorism in the Middle East to “great power competition” with Russia and the Chinese Communist Party.

The new report again proposes a $1.6 billion air defense system at the U.S. base in Guam. The Guam defense system would require a $200 million radar system on Pulau and $2.3 billion in space-based radar.

The report also recommends a $3.3 billion ground-based, distant missile system to form a ‘highly survivable, precision strike network along the first island chain.’ The first island chain includes the islands off Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Worried that the Chinese Communist Party will change the regional status quo in the next six years

As the Chinese Communist Party increases its military spending, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command this week issued back-to-back warnings about China’s military threats in the region.

The commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Davidson, said he is “very concerned” that China (the Chinese Communist Party) could reach military supremacy in the next six years and force a change in the regional status quo, which he believes will be permanent, and that the U.S. should encourage Taiwan to invest more in its self-defense capabilities, and that continued U.S. government arms sales to Taiwan are “The U.S. government’s continued arms sales to Taiwan are also “critical.

He said there is no doubt that China seeks to change the world order, as it is often called, to a world order with “Chinese characteristics.

Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, chief of intelligence for the Indo-Pacific Command, also noted in an online speech Tuesday that China (the Chinese Communist Party) is steadily increasing pressure on Taiwan with military activities, intruding into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and “establishing a new normal around Taiwan through their military presence. ” He said people are getting a taste of what it’s like to be dominated or heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party.

On March 1, the Pentagon also held its first meeting of the China Working Group to discuss Washington’s strategy toward China.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has also repeatedly called the development of Chinese military power a “pacing threat” to the Pentagon. U.S. Central Command and Southern Command have also issued warnings about Chinese Communist Party activities in Central and South America.

Chinese Communist Party Coercion of Pacific Island Countries

“I have seen an alarming amount of coercion, corruption and buyout attempts by China (CCP) throughout the Pacific Island chain. It involves under-the-table payments to government and business elites, and it also involves threats and coercive actions to get you to do something or stop doing something. For example, say if you call on the United Nations to investigate the source of the ‘Wuhan virus,’ we in China will punish you.”

Another example, Davidson said, is when China (the Chinese Communist Party) banned the import of Taiwanese pineapples because it didn’t like the public comments made by Taiwan’s foreign minister, “which is enough to show how dramatic the situation is. What can you say? What can’t you say? How will China react?”

He said that China will also buy the leadership of international organizations, such as telecommunications, air travel, and agriculture, which are resources that the Pacific island nations have an urgent need for and are extremely important to them, but China has gained the leadership and dominant power of those UN organizations, so the U.S. must pay more attention to the situation in the Pacific island chain because of the importance of their role.

After discussing China’s ban on Taiwan’s pineapple imports, Eric Sayers, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, then asked Davidson for his assessment of the cross-strait situation in the Taiwan Strait.

Arms sales to Taiwan critical

Davidson said the military space around Taiwan has been eroded over the past few months, and he has seen an increase in Chinese air activity, including bombers, warplanes, reconnaissance planes, maritime patrol planes and others, “and they’re even going deeper into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. He has also seen Chinese maritime police vessels and fishing boats penetrate deeper into the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Islands).

Considering the future direction of this situation, Davidson said, “I’m very concerned about the next six years, and certainly this decade as well, because of the change in the Chinese Communist Party’s capabilities, including the number of warplanes, bombers, ships. When I look back at the turn of the century, Taiwan’s capabilities were beyond China’s (CCP), and that’s no longer the case.”

Davidson said what the U.S. can do is encourage Taiwan to invest more in a portfolio of different capabilities, including providing those that are helpful to Taiwan’s deterrence and asymmetric capabilities and can assist in Taiwan’s defense, which he believes is an approach the U.S. Department of Defense must take, and for the U.S. government as a whole, “it’s even more critical to sustain arms sales to Taiwan that contribute to this deterrence strategy. “

Deterrence and Readiness Required

On the situation of contact and joint training between the U.S. and Republic of China militaries, Davidson said U.S.-Taiwan military contact is primarily to assist Taiwan in maintaining self-defense and deterrence capabilities and understanding how they are prepared to fight should the need arise, “and we have to have that understanding to win the war.”

Davidson said the primary job of Indo-Pacific Command is to keep the peace, but the U.S. must absolutely be prepared to win a war if competition turns into conflict, and the U.S. military and U.S. allies and partners must provide credible readiness deterrence capabilities in order to slow down Beijing‘s decision-making and convince them, “Today is not the Time.”

China’s National People’s Congress meeting Friday announced defense spending of $209 billion for 2021, a 6.8 percent increase over last year, and Communist Party Premier Li Keqiang said in his work report that Beijing will boost the military’s combat capability this year through reforms, technology and personnel training.

In an analysis of the regional implications of China’s increased military spending, Laiyi Ge, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that China’s significant increase in defense spending has given it “a sustained ability to build military capabilities that pose a threat to U.S. and allied interests,” and that China’s continued defense investment has tipped the regional military balance in its favor.

In this analysis, Grey and several other researchers say that “the erosion of China’s traditional deterrence capabilities increases the risk of conflict, including the possibility that it will lead China to become more assertive and bold in seeking to unilaterally change the status quo through the threat or use of force.”