Following Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who expressed concern over China’s test of a hypersonic missile, Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said China’s growing military prowess is “stunning.” According to CNN, Gen. Hyten said that the pace at which China is moving is stunning, adding that China will surpass Russia and the U.S. considering the pace China is moving and the trajectory it is on. “It’s not just the United States but the United States and our allies because that’s the thing that really changes the game,” Gen. Hyten said.
According to Gen. Hyten, the U.S. has carried only nine hypersonic tests in the last five years whereas China has done hundreds of them. “Single digits versus hundreds is not a good place,” Hyten pointed out. In regard of missile test failures of the U.S., Hyten said, “Failure is part of the learning process,” adding the U.S. will move fast by taking risks and learning from failures.
The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff cited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an example, arguing Kim has learned the lesson of failed tests to speed up development. Unlike his father (Kim Jong Il), Kim Jong Un has decided not to kill scientists and engineers when they failed and instead encourage them to learn by failing. As a result, the 118th biggest economy in the world was able to build an ICBM nuclear capability.