The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, an upgraded version of the SM-3 Block IA, will be deployed around 2021.
Japan labels North Korea as the target of the new interceptor, but military observers believe that the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, complementing the US-backed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, is part of the US' ambitious global missile defense system.
The upgraded SM-3 interceptor may not specifically target China, but as the Washington-Tokyo alliance has put more attention on China, the country will certainly be highlighted in the defensive range of the new SM-3 anti-missile system.
Once the upgrade and deployment of the SM-3 system is completed, and THAAD is launched in Northeast Asia, China will face more military threat.
As missile system is the centerpiece of global nuclear powers' strategic deterrent capability, China has developed advanced missile technology. The anti-missile system is the new front of nuclear arms race. Advanced anti-missile technology can disable or partly disable the missile system of the opponent, thus having some effect on the geopolitics.
An intercontinental ballistic missile is both a military and political tool, and so is an anti-missile system. The US global missile defense system is ultimately targeted at the nuclear deterrent capability of China and Russia, aiming to politically coerce them.
Strategic nuclear weapons are unlikely to be put to use in normal condition, and this means an anti-missile system can hardly conduct interception. A duel would bring disaster to all mankind.
Sparing no effort to develop the anti-missile system, the US will disturb the nuclear balance among major powers, due to which the world has largely maintained peace for decades. Washington is attempting to become the sole dominator in the world.
China and Russia cannot make the US give up its obsession with the anti-missile system. Resolute countermeasures against Washington's anti-missile achievements are the only way to sustain the current strategic balance. Beijing and Moscow must be clear that thwarting US' anti-missile efforts is more important to them than their bilateral relationships with Washington.
China and Russia have no global alliance system or ubiquitous military bases, and thus cannot put in place a worldwide anti-missile system even with advanced and reliable technological support. We should put more efforts in building our anti-missile network around our strategically vital regions, and meanwhile achieve technology breakthroughs in missile penetration. China and Russia should prevent US' anti-missile capability from developing to a tipping point where Washington is able to manipulate public opinion and make changes to the rules of the game beyond our control.
While the US and Japan keep increasing their anti-missile inputs, China and Russia must make more investments than them to develop the strategic nuclear capability.