Leaving the rogue nations like North Korea aside, Russia and China are the two major powers that pose a serious threat to the United States’ supremacy. Recently, the latest issue of Jane’s Intelligence revealed that Russia has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile called Yu-71. It will be capable of penetrating even the best U.S. missile defense systems.
Washington divided over threats from Russia, China
While Russia chose to keep its missile testing a secret, China officially confirmed last month that it successfully tested its own Wu-14 hypersonic missile that can travel at ten times the speed of sound. China and the U.S. have locked horns in the disputed South China Sea, where the former is aggressively building artificial islands. On the other hand, Russia has forcefully annexed Crimea, and experts believe that it is pushing the limits to break NATO into pieces. So, who is the bigger enemy of the United States?
There is no agreement in Washington whether a self-assured China or a resurgent Russia should top the list of U.S. enemies, says Michael Klare of TomDispatch. For many U.S. experts, including some prominent Republicans, Russia under Vladimir Putin is the biggest threat. Jeb Bush said during his trip to Berlin last month, “Who can doubt that Russia will do what it pleases if its aggression goes unanswered?”
What if China and Russia join forces?
In contrast, many in the Obama administration feel that China is the single biggest threat to the U.S. interests. President Obama fears that China “will create its own set of rules” if the U.S. failed to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Obama has fixed his eyes on China since 2010. The U.S. will have to prevent China from gaining more ground if it wants to remain the world’s No.1 power.
In its pivot to Asia, the Obama administration has said that the U.S. will have to “lock in substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region.” The American attempt to contain China is bringing Beijing closer to Moscow. China openly supported Russia against Western powers in the Ukraine crisis. A top Chinese diplomat even asked the West to “abandon the zero-sum mentality” with Russia. So, the biggest threat to the U.S. will be China and Russia joining forces to take on the West.