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Mar 6, 2023·edited Mar 6, 2023

What your piece misses is the impact of the supposed tightening of the noose around China. Here is something to contemplate, Salvo Model for two hostile forces (fleets) A and B. Given the range of Chinese missiles (both hypersonic and supersonic) and the almost non-existent ability of US air defences to intercept those missiles, what is the probability that a hostile US battleship is able to get close enough to China to be able fire a missile (which doesn't have the range of Russian or Chinese missiles) before it is sunk? I would say that it is extremely low since you almost have a 1:1 ratio between China launching a hypersonic missile and it successfully reaching its target. So these bases located in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Just as Russia has escalatory dominance in its near abroad, China has the same.

As concerns most countries in Asia, they are for the most part moving closer to BRI/SCO/INSCT but are wary of not doing it too soon while the US still exercises some influence. For Japan it makes sense for it to build up its military in order to develop a level of independence over time from the US. Yes, initially they will buy some weapon systems from the US but they will build up their internal capacity over time. Key thing to remember is that Japan doesn't have a supply chain (raw materials?) if it was really in a conflict with China, they would run out of supplies so they are not really a threat. For the Philippines, note who they are working extensively with to develop their infrastructure? China. They are saying that they are going to renegotiate many of those contracts under US pressure but realistically given China's engineering skills and ability to turn around projects in very tight timeframes, unless they can come up with far more money than they were going to pay to the Chinese companies involved to maybe do those projects on far longer timeframes with other engineering firms, they will end with no improved infrastructure and excluded from the BRI. It will make for an interesting debate when Marcos comes up for re-election. As for South Korea, they also are walking the tightrope. China is its biggest export market, which is the same for most Asian countries. All the countries are looking at how Europe is imploding by following the US and they are very mindful to not do the same. Asians are practical people. They are not going to follow the US over a cliff.

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