Vernuccio’s View: Chinese Military Technology Equals U.S.

Chinese Military Technology Equals U.S.

by Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D.

Americans continue to take false comfort in their erroneous belief that the U.S. leads the world in military technology. However, China is nearing or exceeding U.S technology while gaining an advantage in numbers.w

In addition to high levels of spending, China has benefited from intense espionage against the est, and the sale of supercomputers by the Clinton administration in the 1990’s.

Roger Cliff, author of a major study on Beijing’s military, writes “With skyrocketing military budgets and new technology, China’s tanks, aircraft, destroyers, and missile capabilities are becoming comparable to those of the United States.” Peter Dombrowski, writing for the War On The Rocks site, reports that “China may be better positioned in a long-term race…Numerous accounts document how the Chinese defense industry has increased its capacities …Unless the U.S. military and intelligence communities can somehow overturn the laws of physics, economics, and geography simultaneously, America remains at a disadvantage relative to China in terms of the fundamentals of military conflict in Asia…China may well out innovate and out invest the United States.”

China has developed naval weapons systems, some of which are unmatched anywhere, including a missile which, launched from land, can disable ships almost 1,000 miles away.

Examples of Beijing’s rise can be seen clearly in the air, in space, and at sea.

Beijing now has two separate stealth fighters available. The newest is the J-20. According to Russia’s RT news service “China has showcased its new J-20 stealth fighter in southern Guangdong Province’s city of Zhuhai …The J-20 is a long-range radar-evading fighter jet equipped with air-to-air missiles…”

The U.S. Naval Institute  reports: “China is designing weapons to counter advanced Western satellite technology using directed energy weapons and jammers and may have already tested some, according to a [2015] Chinese military assessment to Congress. ‘China continues to develop a variety of capabilities designed to limit or prevent the use of space- based assets by adversaries during a crisis or conflict.” The Washington Free Beacon disclosed last November that China had “conducted a flight test of a new missile capable of knocking out U.S. satellites as part of Beijing’s growing space warfare arsenal.”

Beijing already has a larger number of submarines than the U.S. Navy, and its overall fleet will exceed America’s by 2020.  In 2007, the Daily Mail reported that “American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. One NATO figure said the effect was “as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik.”

A review in the South China Morning Post  (in conjunction with the Associated Press) highlighted ten weapons that Beijing has unveiled over the past several years that underscore its rising military sophistication. They include:

  • the DF-26 missile, intermediate-range ballistic missile dubbed the “Guam killer”, with its 4,000km range putting it within striking distance of the US naval base at Guam;
  • the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile known as a carrier-killer with a maximum range of 1,450km;
  • the DF-5B The liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic, which can carry three or more nuclear warheads with a range of up to 15,000km;
  • the WZ-19 helicopter used to attack tanks and other heavy targets;
  • the Y-9 transport aircraft, a design platform for the air force’s early warning aircraft KJ-200 and KJ-500;
  • the H-6K nuclear strike strategic bomber; the ZTL-09 armored vehicle, with a 105mm gun that can destroyed armored targets over 2km away;
  • the ZTZ-99A main battle tank with a 125mm smoothbore gun and carousel-style autoloader
  • ; the ZBD-04 Infantry fighting vehicle; and
  • the HQ-10/FL-3000N short-range air-defense missile, capable of expanding the navy’s force projection capability. The weapon is mounted on the navy’s most advanced Type 052D  destroyers and Type 056 frigates.


Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D. is the editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government and the co-host of the popular WVOX weekly radio show.

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