Former Navy SEAL Adm. William McRaven last month said China’s efforts to expand its military and threaten U.S. hegemony is a “holy shit” moment for the United States.
At a September event, McRaven warned China’s technological and defensive capabilities are quickly nearing and sometimes surpassing those of the United States, Business Insider reported.
“As we talk about the rise of China, the gap [between American and Chinese innovation] is narrowing,” McRaven said.
McRaven, the former head of Joint Special Operations Command overseeing the U.S. Navy SEAL team that took down Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his Pakistan compound in 2011, noted that Chinese technologies such as 5G commercialization is already beating the United States.
“We need to make sure that the American public knows that now is the time to do something,” he went on.
China has indeed made efforts to expand its influence on the world through a stronger military presence, especially in the South China Sea. The country has also been accused of widespread intellectual property theft and hacking as a means of advancing its technological developments.
“No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Oct. 1, according to Newsweek. President Xi delivered his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which it has designated as its National Day.
The Chinese military displayed several weapons during its National Day parade, including a new supersonic jet that can reportedly reach speeds faster than Mach 3.3, at more than 2500 miles per hour.
The supersonic jet, called the DR-8, could play a key role in a potential conflict with the U.S. military in the South China Sea.
“China has invested a lot of resources into military science and technology development in a bid to enhance its nuclear deterrence capability over the past years, which Beijing believes represents a strategic measure in countering the global military hegemony [of the United States],” Hong Kong-based military analyst Song Zhongping said.
Additionally, China doubled its nuclear arsenal in the past decade and is set to double it again in the next, top U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) officials stated in August.
“China has long had a no-first-use policy, and yet they’ve doubled their nuclear arsenal in about the last decade, and they’re on track to double it again in the next decade,” said Rear Admiral Michael Brookes, director of intelligence for Stratcom.
“It’s a little bit concerning the breathtaking pace of change with regard to their arsenal,” he added.
China is also expanding its naval capacities, recently completing construction of its first aircraft carrier. After having some technical difficulties, it appears the Chinese Navy is ready to commission the ship, called the Type 001A, “within months.”