The untimely anti-ballistic missile system

UPDATED: 17:29, June 15, 2007

In step with deploying missile defense systems in Europe, the United States is also engaging in intensive talks with Japan in the Asia-Pacific region, so as to speed up the construction of a missile defense system in this region.

Recently, even Australia has also voiced that it would like to join this alliance. Although Australia claimed that the purpose of its participation in the Asia-Pacific missile defense system is to defend against limited attacks by some small countries and terrorists, but not against Russia and China; it can by no means erase the doubt from people's minds of their true intentions within the alliance, and people's anxiety of the negative impact it might have on the stability in the region.

The missile defense system under construction is composed of the Patriot-3 anti-ballistic missile system, standard-3 sea-based anti-ballistic missile system, and onboard high-energy laser anti-ballistic missile system. The three create a multidimensional net in the sky, which covers high, medium and low altitudes. It continues along the first chain of the Western Pacific islands, covering thousands of kilometers. It is difficult to imagine that the three countries are willing to spend an enormous amount of money and many years, and concentrate the latest advanced, military technology in building such a giant anti-ballistic missile system, only to deal with some short-range tactical missile attacks by smaller countries with limited technology. Furthermore, so-called missile attacks by terrorists are so far only a figment of people's imagination. Do they have to use a "chopper" to "kill a chicken"?

Actually, the supposed missile defense system is a little more than a defense. It is a modern weapons system that has both offensive and defensive capacities in one. It can be used for accurately intercepting high-speed missiles attacking aircraft in flight and satellites in orbit. In fact, the anti-missile, anti-satellite and anti-air craft functions all co-exist. It only depends on how people want to use it.

In addition to intercepting incoming missiles, the system can also shoulder the tasks of 24-hour, all-weather and all-round regional surveillance and monitoring. This is particularly important to the United States as a country that has been pursuing a global strategy. Some people say that the missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region is the first watchtower that the United States and Japan want to build in the region, and is a part of the US national missile defense system and global monitoring network. Such a judgment is somewhat reasonable.

Behind the US and its main Asian allies' busy work of building the missile defense system are both military confrontational thinking and the political extension of the Cold War mindset. After the Cold War, the US military alliance in the former Asia-Pacific region did not disappear. On the contrary, it has been further strengthened. The anti-ballistic system simply reflects the US mindset of intensifying the Cold War mentality, which obviously diverges from the current trend of the times and is particularly untimely.

Everybody cares about the security in the Asia-Pacific region. Everyone needs to make a contribution in order to improve the security. All countries need to work together closely to realize and maintain peace and security in this region. On this occasion, the three-country anti-ballistic missile alliance established by the United States, Japan and Australia can neither help maintain regional security and stability nor enhance the mutual trust and cooperation between Asian-Pacific countries. On the contrary, it might lead to further regional strategic imbalance; which, as a result, will intensify the distrust and feelings of alienation among countries and even pose a new issue of proliferation. This is something that we absolutely do not want to see.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---