Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., called attention to China's attempt to rise above the United States "in all areas," including economically and militarily.
During a Tuesday appearance on Newsmax's "The Record with Greta Van Susteren," Rounds urged Congress and the Pentagon to continue keeping up with China technologically.
"Probably the one thing that's moving us in a peaceful direction is the creation and the deployment of the B-21 Stealth Bomber and the creation and the deployment of the Sentinel missiles," Rounds said. "We've also got our deep-sea submarines that we are upgrading.
"And so, it is that deterrence which will provide for peace. If we don't stay on that course, it can be very, very expensive."
The senator emphasized China is challenging the U.S. on the air, land, sea, cyberspace, artificial intelligence, and space. He concluded: "In all areas, they are trying to take the upper hand."
Rounds' solution, therefore, is to double down on deterrence against China by upgrading heavy weaponry and nuclear capabilities so the U.S. is never in a position where Beijing is dictating to them.
"If we do, if we stay on time and on target, then we will have peace," the senator argued. "If we don't stay on time and on target, then they will look at us, and they will wonder whether or not they might be able to take the upper hand."
His comments arrive several days after the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off South Carolina's coast – but not before spending over 24 hours above American airspace.
China called the decision to shoot down the balloon Saturday an "obvious overreaction" and continues to maintain it was an off-course "civilian airship" primarily used to track weather.
"The one major question that I think we have to have, and it's a policy question, is who made the decision that we should allow this information-gathering system to enter our airspace and then to proceed across the entire continent?" Rounds proposed.
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