China Stockpiles 'Anti-Ship' Missiles, Posing Risk to Japan
Tensions Rise in the South China Sea, Now Over the Philippines
The US Department of Defense released its annual China Military Power Report earlier in October, revealing that China has significantly increased its missile stockpiles, particularly the DF-21 missile. This surge in missile capability has raised concerns about China's ability to threaten US bases in Japan.
Reports of the potential risk China presents to Japan preceded analysis that the United States, Australia and Japan will join the fight to protect the Philippines in the event that China engages the island nation in aggressions, the South China Morning Post wrote on October 28.
The report highlights the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force's expansion of its rocket arsenal, with a focus on the DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles. According to the Pentagon, China had an estimated 1,000 DF-21 missiles by the end of 2022, nearly doubling the previous year's estimate of 500+. This increase is seen as a significant development in China's military capabilities.
The DF-21 missile, often referred to as a "Japan Killer," poses a direct threat to US bases in Japan. Its medium-range capabilities make it a formidable weapon that could potentially target and pummel these bases in the event of a conflict. The rise in DF-21 stockpiles gives China greater leverage and the ability to deter third-party intervention in regional conflicts, such as potential US involvement in a dispute over Taiwan.
The Department of Defense's report provides insight into China's ongoing efforts to enhance its missile capabilities. The People's Republic of China is actively investing in its military forces, particularly its rocket force, as part of its strategy to maintain regional dominance and counter any potential threats.
The DF-21 missile's increased stockpiles signify China's commitment to bolstering its military might and expanding its influence.
The release of the China Military Power Report comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China. The report serves as a reminder of the growing military capabilities of the People's Republic of China and the need for the US to closely monitor and address these developments.
China's doubling of its DF-21 missile stockpiles is a significant development with potential implications for US bases in Japan. The increase in missile capabilities heightens China's ability to threaten and deter third-party intervention in regional conflicts.
The Department of Defense's report sheds light on China's ongoing efforts to enhance its military prowess and solidify its position as a major world power. As tensions between the US and China continue to escalate, it is crucial for the US to closely monitor and respond to these developments to ensure regional stability and security.