An independent group advocating for the hardening of America's electrical grid is warning China has developed three high-tech weapons and harbors a mindset to use them in a nuclear first-strike that would cripple the United States.
The EMP Task Force on Homeland and National Security, a coalition of industry, security and government officials, said the Chinese have placed a network of satellites in orbit, developed hypersonic missiles and designed high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) weapons to attack the U.S. on the battlefield and at sea as well as devastate the civilian infrastructure.
EMPs were discovered during nuclear weapons tests, in which a high energy wave was emitted during the explosion destroying electric and electronic circuits.
"China's military doctrine – including numerous examples presented here of using HEMP attack to win on the battlefield, defeat U.S. aircraft carriers, and achieve against the U.S. homeland a surprise 'Pearl Harbor' writ large – is replete with technical and operational planning consistent with a nuclear first-strike," the report, "China: EMP Threat," reads.
"If China arms its ICBMs and SLBMs with hypersonic warheads designed for Super-EMP attack, then Beijing could, virtually overnight, transform its relatively [allegedly] small nuclear deterrent into a giant killer, capable of flying below U.S. radars and outracing U.S. reaction-time to deliver a HEMP 'Pearl Harbor.'"
The report, published June 10, was written by the task force's executive director, Peter Pry, an expert on EMP warfare. He writes China has developed the weapons as part of its "Total Information Warfare" which includes hacking raids on computers.
It comes amid growing tension between the United States and China over the Asian power's increasingly assertive territorial claims, its militarization of man-made islands in the South China Sea, actions to impose more control over Hong Kong and its response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
China has publicly declared a promise to not strike first, but key Pentagon officials are dubious. Pry's report cited testimony in February by Chief of U.S. Strategic Command, Adm. Charles Richard, who testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee he could "drive a truck through China's no first-use policy."
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