The United States has a limited opportunity, no more than a decade, to develop new ways to counter China’s advanced weapons programs, a report released Thursday by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission claims. China’s Advanced Weapons Systems, prepared for the commission by defense analysis firm Jane’s by HIS Markit, examines Chinese counterspace, unmanned systems, maneuverable reentry vehicles, directed-energy, and electronic rail gun weapons systems, as well as its use of artificial intelligence for defense. The report concludes that of the areas covered, counterspace is China’s highest priority and that its efforts in this area could hurt the effectiveness of US space architecture or limit access to the architecture needed for most US military capabilities. It also finds that in the more immediate future, China will concentrate on developing counterspace, unmanned systems, maneuverable reentry and hypersonic glide vehicles, directed-energy weapons, and electromagnetic railguns. In the longer term, though, China will switch its emphasis to autonomous unmanned systems and AI, the report says. While the US has an overall advantage over China, Chinese industrial abilities pose credible threats to that superiority unless sufficient, and often expensive, responses are undertaken, the report says. —Steve Hirsch
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