the United States recently withdrew from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty), partly due to the desire to deploy new conventional missiles in the Asia-Pacific theater to deter China. However, countries in the region refuse to place on its territory the American missiles because of the threat of retaliation from China and the unwillingness of Washington to support its partners.
Signed during the cold war, the INF Treaty prohibited Washington and Moscow have land-based missiles — conventional or nuclear — with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. 2 Aug 2019 after accusations of Russia in violation of the agreement, the United States came out of it.
Some Western experts have welcomed the termination of the INF Treaty, especially given its negative implications for the Asia-Pacific region. In that time, the United States complied with this agreement during the thirty two years that has not signed the document China set covered by the agreement with the world’s deadliest Arsenal of missiles, including those intended for hitting moving warships and military targets in the distance to GUAM.
the Range of a missile strike Beijing potentially surpasses the flight range of fighters that took off from American aircraft carriers. If these ships sailed close enough to China to allow the aircraft to perform combat missions, the aircraft carriers will become an easy target. Although American submarines can hide in the Chinese waters, they can’t launch enough missiles to neutralize China. Thus, the need of America in the normal land-based missiles deployed around China is very high, says The National Interest.
in Less than two weeks after the release of the INF Treaty, the US tested a conventional missile with non-nuclear warhead, which was previously prohibited by the agreement, stating the intention to place such missiles in the Asia-Pacific region. GUAM is a relatively comfortable place for their baziplanning. Because this area is controlled by the US and there are already several American military bases, local opposition and fear of the authorities being cut off from the Chinese economy will not be able to prevent the placement of weapons.
But Washington is not able to threaten Beijing with a single (small) object, because Arsenal on GUAM can be destroyed by Chinese missiles. That is why the United States wants to spread the deployment of new missiles in Australia, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea.
But regional partners Washington refuse to host U.S. medium-range missiles, because they are afraid of Chinese retaliation. China has already threatened “serious consequences”, putting that “will consider all possible measures”, if the neighbors will put American weapons. The threat is very real, considering previous sanctions of Beijing against the disobedient countries.
If the fear will make the Asia-Pacific region to agree to the request of Beijing, the balance of forces in the region will shift towards China. Many States are not confident in the readiness of Washington to defend its partners in the confrontation with Beijing.
In 2017, Washington persuaded Seoul — after years of coaxing — to deploy on its territory missile defense system American production (THAAD). This step has defended South Korea, but also Japan and the United States from possible North Korean missile attacks, but greatly angered Beijing. The reaction from China was immediate and harsh, was closed by South Korean enterprises in China, is minimized bilateral military relations, cancelled visa, a series of cyber-attacks and have launched a campaign to boycott South Korean goods and services.
the United States did nothing to support South Korea. Faced with pressure from Beijing alone, Seoul backed down: he refused not only from the acquisition of the remaining parts of THAAD, but also from joining the American and Japanese systems protiviaketnoi of defense and the creation of a military Alliance with Japan and the United States.
Seeing this behavior of Washington, the Asia-Pacific region has intensified cooperation with China, announced the intention to create nuclear weapons of their own (instead of relying on the U.S. for their protection) and refused the deployment of American medium-range missiles.
to change the situation, experts say, the United States must reassure its partners that will not leave them in the lurch, but will not encourage their reckless behavior. Bridging the missile gap between the US and China — and the preservation of American leadership in the Asia-Pacific region depends on whether Washington to find the right balance.