Asia-pacific theater in focus: comparison of weapons systems of near-peer competitors, current issues

Security issues in Eurasia

  • Artsrun Hovhannisyan
Keywords: USA, China, China’s People-Liberation Army (PLA), UAV, fi ghter, missile, navy, air supremacy.


Comparison of military capabilities and weapons systems that can be brought to bear in case of regional crisis by near-peer competitors in Asian-Pacific, namely the USA, China, and Russia, is increasingly taking a prominent place in contemplations of academic community. Add to this equation the capabilities of such “middle-weight” military powers as the both Koreas, Japan, and other countries of the South China Sea (SCS), and we have an increasingly contested and congested region, where the balance of forces is positively worth studying. To begin with, regardless of numerous incentives for cooperation, first of all for the sake of trade relations, the United States and China are also indirectly facing off on a number of issues in Western Pacific, including on Pyongyang’s behavior and China’s assertiveness in SCS, to name but a few. Following a fairly tough response of the United States to North Korea, the problem of balance of forces in Asian-Pacific strategic realm, in fact, is becoming more vital. After the American new administration came to power, there was a certain tension in the relations with China as it was. One should take into account that it has been already several years there exist problems in relations between China and Japan as well in respect of laying claims to certain disputed islands. Rumors are flying that China is actively creating artificial islands which can become military strongholds far from its shores at approximately operational depth. Philippines and Vietnam are seriously concerned in that regard. This tension is already manifested in concrete actions and statements.

Author Biography

Artsrun Hovhannisyan


Artsrun Hovhannisyan, PhD

Military analyst, the main fields of his research include military strategy, theory of wars, military warfare, future wars, military technologies and global armament trends.