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Asia-Pacific Theater in focus: comparison of weapons systems of near-peer competitors, current issue

Artsrun Hovhannisyan

vol. VII(1,2)

Pages 4-20


Abstract

Comparison of military capabilities and weapons systems that can be brought

to bear in case of regional crisis by near-peer competitors in Asian-Pacifi c,

namely the USA, China, and Russia, is increasingly taking a prominent place

in contemplations of academic community. Add to this equation the capabilities

of such “middle-weight” military powers as the both Koreas, Japan, and other

countries of the South China Sea (SCS), and we have an increasingly contested

and congested region, where the balance of forces is positively worth studying.

To begin with, regardless of numerous incentives for cooperation, fi rst of all

for the sake of trade relations, the United States and China are also indirectly

facing off on a number of issues in Western Pacifi c, including on Pyongyang’s

behavior and China’s assertiveness in SCS, to name but a few. Following

a fairly tough response of the United States to North Korea, the problem

of balance of forces in Asian-Pacifi c strategic realm, in fact, is becoming

more vital. After the American new administration came to power, there was

a certain tension in the relations with China as it was. One should take into

account that it has been already several years there exist problems in relations

between China and Japan as well in respect of laying claims to certain disputed

islands. Rumors are fl ying that China is actively creating artifi cial islands

which can become military strongholds far from its shores at approximately

operational depth. Philippines and Vietnam are seriously concerned in that regard.

This tension is already manifested in concrete actions and statements.

Keywords: USA, China, China’s People-Liberation Army (PLA), UAV, fi ghter,

missile, navy, air supremacy.

Artsrun Hovhannisyan
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