Missiles fired from the Chinese mainland could destroy five of the six major U.S. air bases in the Far East. So states a new report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, adding:
"Saturation missile strikes could destroy U.S. air defenses, runways, parked aircraft, and fuel and maintenance facilities. Complicating this scenario is the future deployment of China's anti-ship ballistic missile, which could hold U.S. aircraft carriers at bay outside their normal operating range."
Opposite Taiwan, China's missile force has reached 1,600.
Beijing is also building rockets, submarines and surface fleets to extend her dominance out to the third chain of islands, enabling the People's Liberation Army to strike U.S. carriers and bases as far away as Guam.
Since the demise of the blue-water navy of Russian Adm. Sergei Gorshkov, the Pacific has been an American lake. No more.
China lays claim to all the Paracel and Spratly islands of the South China Sea, all the Senkakus in the East China Sea, and all the oil and gas beneath and around those islets and reefs.
America's offer to mediate these claims, which involve half a dozen other anxious Asian nations, has been rudely rebuffed by Beijing.