US President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One prior to departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, October 22, 2018, as he travels to Houston, Texas to hold a campaign rally with US Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. AFP / SAUL LOEB
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A U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia could give the Pentagon new options to counter Chinese missile advances but experts warn the ensuing arms race could greatly escalate tensions in the Asia-Pacific. U.S. officials have been warning for years that the United States was being put at a disadvantage by China's development of increasingly sophisticated land-based missile forces, which the Pentagon could not match thanks to the U.S. treaty with Russia.U.S. officials have so far relied on other capabilities as a counterbalance to China, like missiles fired from U.S. ships or aircraft. But advocates for a U.S. land-based missile response say that is the best way to deter Chinese use of its muscular land-based missile forces.Still, current and former U.S. officials say Washington is right to focus on China's missile threat.
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