US says China poses ‘most consequential’ challenge, Russia presents ‘acute threats’

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The United States is backing Ukraine, a nation pushing hard to become a NATO member, against Russia in the ongoing war that caused massive food and fuel crises globally, reveals a strategy document of the US military. 

The US is providing Ukraine with advanced military weapons and aid to fight Russia, but its attention is also diverted to the simmering tensions in the Taiwan strait and Korean Peninsula. 

The US military said in a strategy document released on Thursday (October 27) that China is apparently the “most consequential” challenge for Washington, but Russia presents “acute threats”. 

The unclassified version of the US National Defense Strategy 2022 said: “China presents the most consequential and systemic challenge, while Russia poses acute threats — both to vital US national interests abroad and to the homeland.” 

“The most comprehensive and serious challenge to US national security is (China’s) coercive and increasingly aggressive endeavor to refashion the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to suit its interests and authoritarian preferences,” the strategy document said. 

China-Taiwan tensions 

The document says that Chinese actions may act as a destabilising factor and threaten peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and tensions recently flared up between Beijing and Washington. China claimed that, in case needed, it will use force to unite the two territories. 

The document further emphasised the need for collaboration with allied countries and other partners to counter the dangers posed by China and Russia. The US claims that such cooperation is “foundational for US national security interests.” 

It said, “The most comprehensive and serious challenge to US national security is (China’s) coercive and increasingly aggressive endeavor to refashion the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to suit its interests and authoritarian preferences.” 

The Pentagon will advance its Major Defense Partnership with India to “enhance its (India’s) ability to deter People’s Republic of China (PRC) aggression and ensure free and open access to the Indian Ocean Region.” 

Russian threat to US 

As per strategy, the threat posed by Moscow has been “demonstrated most recently by Russia’s unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine. The Department (of Defense) will support robust deterrence of Russian aggression against vital US national interests, including our treaty Allies.”

Amid the ongoing Ukraine war, fears of nuclear weapon use are rising. The strategy document noted that the US intends for its nuclear arsenal to deter “all forms of strategic attack,” including those involving conventional weapons. 

A senior defence official told journalists that “this includes nuclear employment of any scale, and it includes high-consequence attacks of a strategic nature that use non-nuclear means.” 

WATCH | WION Fineprint | Is Xi reaching out to the US? 

US on North Korean threat 

Mentioning the threat posed by North Korea to the US and its allies (Japan and South Korea) in the Korean Peninsula, the US noted that a nuclear strike would mean the ‘end’ of Kim Jong Un’s regime. 

Amid North Korea’s record pace of weapon testing this year, the unclassified version of the Nuclear Posture Review warned Kim against the country’s growing atomic arsenal. 

The strategy says: “Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its Allies and partners is unacceptable and will result in the end of that regime. There is no scenario in which the Kim regime could employ nuclear weapons and survive.” 

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