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2021 Man of the Year: Chinese Hypersonic Missile

A Chinese 'Long March' rocket, which is used for the country's hypersonic missile / Getty Images
• December 29, 2021 5:00 am

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The year is 1938.

The leaders of the free world are busting out the kneepads and begging Adolf Hitler to stay out of Czechoslovakia. FDR thinks it'll work. But everyone in their right mind realizes the Führer is just having a little fun with Neville Chamberlain before gobbling up the Sudetenland.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Time magazine names Adolf Hitler the 1938 Man of the Year.

Nearly a century later, we here at the Washington Free Beacon find ourselves in a similar position. As President Brandon is pushing to reduce America's nuclear arsenal, the People's Republic of China is cranking out weapons left and right.

Case in point: the hypersonic missile.

These nuclear-capable missiles travel five times the speed of sound and can evade American missile-detection systems. They're the next big thing in weapons technology. They could bring about a new Cold War.

And now Beijing has one.

U.S. military officials were reportedly caught off-guard when China tested this missile over the summer. Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman Gen. John Hyten told CBS News that China's long-range missile circled the globe before returning to China, where it dropped a load that "impacted a target."

That's a big deal. U.S. Strategic Command head Adm. Charles Richard said this "breathtaking expansion" means that China can "execute any possible nuclear employment strategy." Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the missile test is close to a "Sputnik moment."

Of course, China says it doesn't have the missile. That's to be expected: Back when we made awesome weapons, we used to keep them under wraps, too. Of course, that was only so that we could shock some terrorists when we blew them into the next life. Let's hope America gets its house in order before Xi Jinping decides to stage a not-so-diplomatic boycott of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

At the moment, China is beating us at what once was our own game. It gives us no joy to say that. But to quote American newsman Wes Mantooth: "Deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you. But God damn it do I respect you."

Game must recognize game. And because of that, Chinese hypersonic missile, we begrudgingly name you a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Published under: Man of the Year