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South China Sea

US preps midrange missile to pierce China's 'anti-access' shield

Army chief of staff vows to strengthen partnerships in First Island Chain

The guided missile destroyer USS Barry launches a Tomahawk cruise missile in the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense)

NEW YORK -- As tensions rise in the South China Sea, a top U.S. Army official underscored in comments made public Friday the importance of developing and deploying new weapons systems that can potentially break Chinese defenses and securing the Indo-Pacific through robust partnerships in the region.

"We're going to have midrange missiles that can sink ships," said the Army's chief of staff, Gen. James McConville, in a discussion streamed by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. "We think that's very, very important for the anti-access/area denial capabilities that we may face," he added, referring to the strategy known as A2/AD for short.

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