Adm. Charles Richard, head of U.S. Strategic Command, has expressed deep concern about potential “cooperative aggression” from China and Russia, now that the two bordering nations have deepened their ties by boasting a “no-limits” partnership.
“I have to deter all of them all of the time, which means every day, we're thinking about their decision calculus, and what we have to do to influence so that basically, they say, ‘Not today.’”
When asked whether China would stop expanding its nuclear arsenal once it had that many warheads, Richard said the communist regime wouldn’t stop.
“I don't know that we have any idea of what the endpoint and/or speed [are],” he said.
“When I first testified here, we were questioning whether or not China would be able to double that stockpile by the end of the decade. They're actually very close to doing it on my watch. And I think we need to factor that into our calculations, as we think through what we need to defend ourselves.”
“Today, we face two nuclear-capable near-peers who have the capability to unilaterally escalate to any level of violence in any domain worldwide, with any instrument of national power at any time,” he said. “We have never faced a situation before like that in our history.”
Now, more than two weeks into the war in Ukraine, China has provided tacit support for Russia’s actions, by refusing to call Moscow’s attack an invasion and abstaining twice in United Nations votes.
The issue of Taiwan also came up during the Senate hearing, when James Dickinson, the commander of the U.S. Space Command, was asked about how the U.S. military can prevent China from taking out U.S. satellite communications, if Beijing decided to launch a preemptive strike in space prior to an invasion against Taiwan.
“It all boils down to having a consistent stream of funding that will allow the Space Force and other services to provide the capabilities that I will need,” Dickinson responded.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), in an interview with Fox News on March 6, said China’s refusal to condemn Moscow’s military actions stems from one simple fact: The communist regime “wants to do the same with Taiwan.”
"I fear that China will be emboldened by Putin's invasion of Ukraine,” he said. “The Biden administration thought sanctions and tweets would be enough to deter, but they failed to apply the kind of hard power that would have deterred Putin from launching his war in the first place.