‘We Really Need a Wake-Up Call,’ Rep. Gallagher Says on China’s Defense Advancements
© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteRep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., a former Marine, joins House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, and other GOP members to criticize President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the close of the war in Afghanistan, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
© AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), slammed the Biden administration after China reportedly tested a hypersonic missile with nuclear capabilities, and warned the US of falling behind Chinese defense advancements.
Gallagher discussed the issue on “Fox & Friends First” on Tuesday, saying “this should be our Sputnik moment.”
"We really need a wake-up call, this should be our Sputnik moment," Gallagher insisted. "But I hate to say it, Secretary Austin and the Biden administration are trying to cut defense. They're trying to cut our conventional capability."
"That's what their budget did, particularly for the Navy. That's unacceptable at a time when Communist China is growing more aggressive, more bellicose and out-innovating us in certain areas."
This comes after reports that China had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide missile back in August — a missile that travels into space and circles the globe in an orbital-like fashion before speeding through the atmosphere toward its target.
An announcement that has remained largely unaddressed by the Biden administration and that allegedly “caught the US government by surprise” despite consistent warnings, the Financial Times reported.
"You have a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle that flew into low orbit space before landing," Gallagher explained. "What makes that so dangerous is not only the speed at which these missiles travel, but the fact that they can maneuver mid flight."
"They're extremely difficult to track, which completely undermines our early warning and our missile defense system, so you can imagine the Chinese using conventional weapons against our homeland to target bases, ports and key sites like precision-guided munition plants."
The Republican representative expressed his concern regarding China's ability to infiltrate and "profit off of" American technology and what that could mean for the future.
"The other thing that I think makes this so troubling is that we know that the Chinese benefited in part from American technology in order to outpace us here," said Gallagher. "There was a Chinese firm called Phytium that uses American semiconductor technology in order to power a supercomputer at a hypersonic test facility that models the heat and drag on these missiles.”
"Here's yet another instance of the Chinese profiting off American technology in order to build things that could be used to kill Americans in the future. It's a very perverse and dangerous situation."
Gallagher's remarks come after lead Republicans requested an increase of 3-5 percent over inflation to counter China’s growing military, a much larger sum for the 2022 fiscal year than the Biden administration initially sought.
Meanwhile, China continues to strengthen its military funding, and implemented a nearly 7% increase in defense spending this year, aimed at safeguarding national sovereignty and meeting the needs of military reforms.
Hypersonic weapons have been at the heart of America’s race with China and Russia, which are both arguably ahead.