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Thread: China threat?

  1. #21

    PRC's preparations to attack Taiwan accelerate: report

    By Hsu Shao-hsuan
    Staff Reporter, Taipei Times

    Monday, Jul 19, 2010, Page 1

    Despite repeated displays of goodwill by the government of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) since it came to power in 2008, China’s military preparations for an attack on Taiwan continue to accelerate, a report by the Ministry of National Defense’s intelligence research branch says.

    The report says China’s military preparedness for an attack on Taiwan has never been relaxed and that if the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched a missile attack on Taiwan, it would destroy more than 90 percent of the nation’s political, economic, military and civil infrastructure. It also predicts the number of Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan could reach 2,000 by the end of the year.

    Although the government’s pro-Beijing policies have been strongly criticized domestically, the ministry’s decision to post the internal research report on its official Web site has raised eyebrows.

    Lin Cheng-yi (林正義), a researcher at the Institute of European and American Studies at Academia Sinica, said following Ma’s accession to power, China has moved its military exercises from the coastal areas of Fujian Province to other parts of the country and that it no longer uses Hong Kong media to attack Taiwan.

    Lin said that while this was intended to create a more relaxed atmosphere, in reality China’s military threat is constantly growing. The ministry sees through the smokescreen, continues to keep track of China’s military posture and therefore is remaining true to its responsibilities, Lin said.

    Although China has reduced the number of military exercises simulating an attack on Taiwan, its activities in the South China Sea and in the waters north and east of Taiwan have been increasing, Lin said.

    The report said that a June 1993 meeting of China’s Central Military Commission readjusted its strategic goals, unambiguously making Taiwan its main potential adversary.

    Despite Ma’s rapprochement policies, top PLA leaders continue to emphasize in internal meetings that the use of military force must remain an option, the report says.

    The PLA’s short and mid-term missile production plans have not been affected by detente in the Taiwan Strait, the report says, adding that the PLA’s missile arsenal targeting Taiwan could reach 1,960 before the end of the year.

    A large number of recently decommissioned fighter aircraft have been turned into pilotless drone planes to be used together with Harpy anti-radar unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from Israel. These could help China punch holes in Taiwan’s air defense systems and destroy key targets.

    Que? Sounds a bit "the Aliens are coming"............HARPY most certainly is dangerous and very capable, but the decomm'd fighters? I suppose as a radar bluff BUT how good they would be at controlling, even minimally tens if not dozens of unmanned second or third generation fighters is VERY open to question in my opinion............

    China is focusing resources on developing satellite technology, the report says, adding that the number of Chinese satellites would surpass 60 before the end of this year. Of these, 14 would be Jianbing (尖兵) and Leidian (雷電) military surveillance satellites. The total would also include 15 Shentong (神通) and Fenghuo (烽火) military communication satellites, Xinnuo (鑫諾) broadcasting satellites and 16 Beidou (北斗) navigation satellites. These satellites will help the PLA wage integrated warfare and improve weapon accuracy.

    The strength of the PLA Navy is also increasing. Its regular amphibious abilities have also increased, with transport capa*city reaching a full division.

  2. #22

    China May Boost Missiles Aimed At Taiwan To 1,900

    AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

    Published: 21 Jul 2010 10:36

    TAIPEI - China could raise the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan to 1,900 by the end of the year despite warming ties between the former bitter rivals, according to the island's deputy defence minister.

    Military experts estimate that the PLA currently has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

    But recent media reports have said the People's Liberation Army may boost the number of short-range ballistic and cruise missiles facing Taiwan to 1,960 before the year's end.

    "Judging from their manufacturing capacities, the PLA could increase to that number of missiles targeting Taiwan before the year's end," said Andrew Yang, an academic-turned deputy defence minister.

    Although tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased since President Ma Ying-jeou's China-friendly administration came to power in 2008, "Beijing has never renounced the use of force against Taipei," Yang warned.

    Beijing has repeatedly vowed to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence even though Taiwan has governed itself since the end of civil war in 1949.

    Yang did not discuss possible evidence indicating a missile build-up by the PLA. The perceived military threat has prompted Taiwan to launch war games simulating an invasion by China.

    Taiwan's president has also vowed to build stronger armed forces to serve as a deterrent against aggression from Beijing, while also promising to push for a peace treaty to end more than six decades of hostilities.

  3. #23

    U.S. Senators Demand DoD Release China Report

    By WENDELL MINNICK

    Published: 24 Jul 2010 09:19

    TAIPEI – Five influential U.S. Congressmen raised suspicions of White House interference in the delayed release of the Pentagon's annual report on China's military in a July 23 letter addressed to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

    The Congressional mandated report on the "Military Power of the People's Republic of China," is nearly five months late and the "lengthy delay is puzzling," said the letter signed by Republican Senators John Cornyn, John McCain, James Risch, Pat Roberts and James Inhofe.

    The letter reminds Gates the "responsibility for this report lies with the DoD alone. We ask for your assurance that White House political appointees at the National Security Council or other agencies have not been allowed to alter the substance of the report in an effort to avoid the prospect of angering China."

    "Anything less would risk undermining its very credibility."

    The annual report, due March 1, has become a political football in relations with China, which angrily denounces each release. Analysts dissect the report each year looking for new clues about China's military modernization.

    Observers point out that the annual report has been late on a number of occasions due to fears it would anger Beijing.

    "In the past, it's been the case that a delayed or, in one year (2001), never published DoD report reflects the administration wanting to tone down the import of what DoD writes," said a defense analyst specializing on China.

    This makes logical sense for a White House wanting better ties with China in the hopes it will cooperate on Iran and North Korea, the analyst said.

    The letter raises suspicions the report is being held up for political reasons due to the fact that a "draft of the report was completed by the DoD several months ago."

    Placating China does not seem to be bearing fruit. Military relations between the U.S. and China were canceled by Beijing after a January arms sale to Taiwan. The $6 billion package included Patriot PAC-3 air defense missile systems, Osprey-class mine hunting ships and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

    A planned visit by Gates to China in June was canceled by Beijing without explanation, but most observers attribute the slight to the January arms deal.

    A joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise in the Yellow Sea scheduled to begin July 25 has raised cackles from the state-controlled Chinese media. This despite the fact the exercises are a show of strength against North Korean aggression and not aimed at China.

    Observers note that Chinese protests over U.S. naval exercises in the Yellow Sea appear to be an overall strategy of area denial.

    The Congressional letter quotes a 2010 paper by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, "AirSea Battle: A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept," by Jan van Tol. China "appears to be purposefully developing and fielding operational military capabilities that challenge U.S. freedom of action in all domains – space, cyberspace, at sea and in the air."

    The letter also makes use of comments by Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on March 26.

    "China's interest in a peaceful and stable environment that will support the country's developmental goals is difficult to reconcile with the evolving military capabilities that appear designed to challenge U.S. freedom of action in the region or exercise aggression or coercion of its neighbors, including U.S. treaty allies and partners," he said.

  4. #24

    U.S. takes a tougher tone with China


    South Korean naval ships follow the USS George Washington during joint military drills in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. (Lee Jung-hoon/associated Press)

    By John Pomfret
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, July 30, 2010

    The Obama administration has adopted a tougher tone with China in recent weeks as part of a diplomatic balancing act in which the United States welcomes China's rise in some areas but also confronts Beijing when it butts up against American interests.

    Faced with a Chinese government increasingly intent on testing U.S. strength and capabilities, the United States unveiled a new policy that rejected China's claims to sovereignty over the whole South China Sea. It rebuffed Chinese demands that the U.S. military end its longtime policy of conducting military exercises in the Yellow Sea. And it is putting new pressure on Beijing not to increase its energy investments in Iran as Western firms leave.

    The U.S. maneuvers have prompted a backlash among Chinese officialdom and its state-run press, which has accused the United States of trying to contain China. Yang Jiechi, the minister of foreign affairs, issued a highly unusual statement Monday charging that the United States was ganging up with other countries against China. One prominent academic, Shen Dingli of Fudan University, compared the planned U.S. exercises in international waters of the Yellow Sea to the 1962 Russian deployment of nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba.

    U.S. officials explained the moves as part of a broader strategy to acknowledge China's emergence as a world power but to also lay down markers when China's behavior infringes on U.S. interests. So at the same time that the administration has welcomed China into the Group of 20 major economies, held the biggest meeting ever between U.S. and Chinese officials, and backed China's push to increase its influence in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, it is also seeking to limit what it thinks are China's expansionist impulses. To this end, the Obama administration has also intensified its diplomacy and outreach to other Asian and Oceanic nations, ending a 12-year ban on ties with Indonesia's special forces and strengthening its alliances from Tokyo and Seoul to Canberra, Australia.

    The strategy has won rare acclaim in Washington among the generally fractious community of China watchers. James Mulvenon, director of Defense Group Inc.'s Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, called it "a masterful piece of diplomacy" in dealing with China, which, he said, "continues to be this paradoxical combination of bluster, swagger and intense insecurity and caution."

    The decision to confront China on the South China Sea dates back several months, after administration officials noticed that the sea -- an international waterway through which more than 50 percent of the world's merchant fleet tonnage passes each year -- had crept into the standard diplomatic pitter-patter about China's "core interests." In March, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Cui Tiankai told two senior U.S. officials that China now views its claims to the 1.3 million-square-mile sea on par with its claims to Tibet and Taiwan, an island that China says belongs to Beijing.

    In addition, Southeast Asian nations had informed the United States that they, too, were uncomfortable with China's pressure on countries and companies interested in exploring for gas and other minerals in the sea. China had warned Exxon Mobil and BP to stop explorations in offshore areas near Vietnam. It had also begun routinely arresting or harassing fishing vessels from other countries, according to sources from the region.

    The U.S. response was unveiled July 23 in Hanoi when 12 nations -- Vietnam as the first and the United States as the last -- raised the issue of the South China Sea at an annual security forum of the Association of South East Asian Nations. Calling freedom of navigation on the sea a U.S. "national interest," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered to facilitate moves to create a code of conduct in the region. And then she said: "Legitimate claims to maritime space in the South China Sea should be derived solely from legitimate claims to land features."

    Translated, it meant that China's claims to the whole sea were "invalid," said a senior administration official, because it doesn't have any people living on the scores of rocks and atolls that it says belong to China.

    Foreign Minister Yang reacted by leaving the meeting for an hour. When he returned, he gave a rambling 30-minute response in which he accused the United States of plotting against China on this issue, seemed to poke fun at Vietnam's socialist credentials and apparently threatened Singapore, according to U.S. and Asian officials in the room.

    "China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that's just a fact," he said, staring directly at Singapore's foreign minister, George Yeo, according to several participants at the meeting.

    On Monday, Yang issued a statement on the Foreign Ministry's Web site saying that there was no need to internationalize the issue, that China was still intent on solving all of the disputes bilaterally and that China's view represented the interests of "fellow Asians."

    "After the meeting, about a dozen Asian delegates expressed their congratulations to the Chinese side," the statement said, despite what many in the meeting thought were clear indications that most of the participants supported the U.S. view.

    The Obama administration has also pushed back on statements, particularly from China's People's Liberation Army, over planned military exercises in the Yellow Sea -- thousands of miles to the north.

    The United States and South Korea have been planning the exercises after the March 26 sinking of a South Korean warship that left 46 sailors dead. An international investigation of the incident pointed to North Korea as responsible for the attack.

    But then China inserted itself into the debate, claiming that any military exercise in the Yellow Sea would be seen as threatening to Beijing -- something that struck U.S. officials as unnecessarily complicating what was supposed to be a simple message of U.S.-South Korean solidarity in the face of an attack by Pyongyang.

    On July 3, Gen. Ma Xiaotian, the deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army, told the Phoenix TV channel that "as far as these exercises are conducted . . . in the close proximity to our territorial waters, we strongly protest." Yet in November, the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier, had been in the Yellow Sea without eliciting criticism from China.

    In an attempt to cool China's ire, the administration conducted its first exercise this week with the USS George Washington in the Sea of Japan (also known to Koreans as the East Sea) farther from China's coast. But partly because China made an issue of it, a second exercise is also being planned -- in the Yellow Sea. U.S. officials also predicted that the George Washington will soon be back in the region -- this time in the Yellow Sea.

    Finally, the Obama administration continues to push China over Iran. The United States won Beijing's support for enhanced U.N. sanctions on Iran in June after Tehran's refusal to halt its program to enrich uranium. As part of the deal, the sanctions were kept relatively weak, and China, which has substantial investments in Iran's energy sector and is Iran's third-largest oil customer, was exempted from many of them.

    But now U.S. officials are concerned that as Western countries enact additional sanctions on Iran -- the United States, Canada and the European Union have all slapped on more in recent weeks -- Chinese state-owned energy firms will step in as Western and Japanese investments dry up, negating any possible effect of the measures.

    "We're not done on Iran," said the senior administration official. "We are looking for maximum Chinese restraint."

  5. #25

    China: Taiwan Military Trust a 'Long Way Off'

    By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

    Published: 2 Aug 2010 11:36

    BEIJING - China and Taiwan have a "long way to go" to build up military trust, state media said Aug. 2, after Beijing reportedly offered to consider removing its missiles pointed at the self-ruled island.

    Defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said July 30 that Beijing would agree to talks with Taiwan on military security "at a proper time" with an eye on trust-building, according to an official press conference transcript.

    "This can be pushed forward step-by-step - first on easy issues, and then hard ones," he said.

    The spokesman was quoted by the Nanfang Daily as saying after the formal briefing that the issue of China's missile deployment could be included in the future talks.

    Geng however cautioned that such an offer was conditional on Taiwan's acceptance of the "one-China principle". Beijing sees the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

    Taipei - for which the "one-China principle" means surrendering its sovereignty to Beijing - rejected the suggestion, with Premier Wu Den-yih quoted in the press as saying: "We cannot possibly agree to what he said."

    Taiwan again called on Beijing to pursue peace through dialogue and remove the missiles.

    "This is the government's established policy and we'll continue conveying the thought to Beijing," the Mainland Affairs Council, which handles relations with China, said in a statement.

    Lo Chih-chiang, Taiwan's presidential office spokesman, blasted the missile deployment and demanded that they be removed.

    "Despite the fast improved ties over the past two years, China still targets Taiwan with more than 1,000 missiles. This picture is incongruous, and those missiles have hurt the feelings of Taiwan's people," he said.

    Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly urged Beijing to remove the ballistic missiles, insisting Taipei is unlikely to conduct talks on political relations under the perceived military threat from Beijing.

    China's Global Times - which is published by the Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily - said in an editorial Aug. 2 that Taiwan's reaction was "not completely surprising".

    "When it comes to building military trust, the somber reality is that there is still a long way to go," the newspaper said.

    It said the new proposal was "meant to reassure the people in Taiwan of their growing security, and also to give another push toward warming up cross-Strait relations", but warned points of contention remained.

    "The deployment of missiles is to deter those die-hard Taiwan separatists," it said.

    Military experts estimate that China has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at Taiwan. The island's deputy defense ministry told AFP last month that the figure could rise to 1,900 by year's end.

    Taiwan and China split at the end of a bloody civil war in 1949.

    Ma's Kuomintang administration is more China-friendly than that of his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, and since he took office in 2008 relations between the two former arch-rivals have improved significantly.

    In June, the two sides signed the historic Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), their most sweeping accord to date.

  6. #26

    MND denies report on China weapons removal 'wish list'

    2010/08/02 20:25:55

    Taipei, Aug. 2 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) dismissed a media report Monday that said the military has begun planning a confidence-building mechanism with China and would issue a "wish list" asking China to dismantle weapons targeting Taiwan.

    The ministry was referring to an article carried in the Monday edition of the Taipei-based China Times daily that said Taiwan's national security and military authorities had in late June secretly started preparatory work for forging a confidence-building mechanism with China.

    Citing "authoritative government sources, " the paper said the military would not only ask China to dismantle its missiles targeting Taiwan but also ask China to remove command, control, communications and intelligence systems, warships and military aircraft targeting Taiwan.

    In future negotiations, the paper said, the military will come up with a wish list detailing weaponry that Taiwan would demand China dismantle or relocate.

    The MND, however, said in a press statement that the report was not true.

    The ministry said that crafting a cross-Taiwan Strait confidence-building mechanism is a national issue involving national security, and that the military will strictly follow government policy guidelines that prioritize economic topics over political issues, urgent trouble over less hasty issues, and easy problems over difficult topics.

    The military will coordinate with the government in promoting cross-strait exchanges, the statement added.

    Lawmakers were divided over the newspaper report. Shuai Hua-ming, a ruling Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker who used to be a senior army officer, questioned the credibility of the report.

    "I do not think that the military would prepare such a wish list because Taiwan has no clout to force China to accept such demands, " Shuai said.

    As to when Taiwan and China would start political talks after signing a landmark economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) last month, Shuai said he believes such talks would not begin any time soon.

    "Taiwan would be willing to address cross-strait political issues only after the ECFA generates substantial economic benefits, " Shuai said.

    Another KMT lawmaker, Lin Yu-fang, said the "wish list" overture was an MND response to China's recent proposal that issues concerning the removal of missiles targeting Taiwan can be discussed under the "one China" precondition.

    "The MND has conventionally been cool toward China's missile removal overture because such proposals are empty talk given the fact that missiles are highly mobile and could simply be redeployed very quickly at any time," Lin said.

    By floating a "wish list" proposal, Lin said, the MND was tossing a hot potato back to China.

    Legislator Ker Chien-ming of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party said Taiwan does not need to respond to China's missile withdrawal overture because Taiwan should never come into cross-strait talks under Beijing's "one

  7. #27

    DoD Releases Annual Report On China’s Military Modernization



    DoD finally released its annual report to Congress on the little that’s known about the Chinese military today and like previous reports its largely an exercise in bean counting. It points to the “limited transparency” and “many uncertainties” regarding China’s military modernization and acknowledges that due to a paucity of sources, studying China’s military strategy is an “inexact science.” Since the report is mandated by Congress, its authors go ahead and “make some generalizations.”

    With those significant caveats in mind, I’m going to make some quick generalizations of my own about the report, titled “Military and Security Developments in the People’s Republic of China,” and provide additional analysis as I get a chance to read it more thoroughly as there’s a lot to digest.

    First off, what is China’s military/security strategy? “China’s current strategy remains one of managing the external environment to ensure conditions are conducive to its own economic development,” the report says. There are internal debates, particularly in Chinese academic circles, on the best way to go about that, the report says. Some argue for a play it cool approach while others urge Chinese policymakers to be more aggressive on the world stage.

    What is certain: China’s voracious raw material consumption is forcing the country to focus on securing its sea-lines of communication–up to 40% of crude oil destined for China transits the Straits of Hormuz and 80% transited the Straits of Malacca. While one eye focuses on the SLOCs, the other remains fixed on Taiwan, the PLA’s primary mission, the report says; although there is the occasional glance at U.S. carrier battle groups steaming around WestPac.

    The report’s authors put Chinese military spending at $150 billion in 2009; in percentage terms, increases in Chinese military spending have closely tracked China’s GDP growth. Unlike the Cold War era Soviet Union, China is not bankrupting itself through huge defense expenditures.

    The report points up China’s lack of operational experience, “the PLA remains untested in modern combat.” That absence of combat experience may explain some of the lack of sophistication in China’s doctrine and strategy vice what was seen in Soviet military doctrine during Cold War days (the Soviets had a very rich and innovative doctrinal heritage upon which to draw).

    “China’s civilian leaders must rely upon the advice of commanders lacking direct experience in modern combat or upon “scientific” combat models divorced from the realities of the modern battlefield… Despite significant improvements, the PLA continues to face deficiencies in inter-service cooperation and actual experience in joint exercises and combat operations. Recognizing these shortcomings, China’s leaders continue to stress asymmetric strategies to leverage China’s advantages while exploiting the perceived vulnerabilities of potential opponents.”
    Chinese military doctrine and strategy is still heavy influenced by 1991’s Desert Storm, the report says, which implies that the revolution in military affairs (RMA) line of thinking is a major driver. That certainly jibes with the PLA’s heavy investment in long-range precision strike. China is amassing a formidable guided missile arsenal with much of it aimed at Taiwan, although Beijing is looking beyond that scenario as it builds out its military.

    – Greg Grant

    Read more: http://defensetech.org/2010/08/16/do...#ixzz0wpCIrxR0
    Defense.org

  8. #28

    Defense News report on the same subject.............

    Pentagon: China Bolsters Projection, Anti-Access Systems

    By JOHN T. BENNETT

    Published: 16 Aug 2010 16:35

    China's military build-up is increasingly giving Beijing the ability to strike targets at greater ranges and keep potential foes from entering its sphere of influence, a new Pentagon report says.


    People's Liberation Army Navy sailors stand on the deck of China's Task Force 525 flagship missile frigate Ma'Anshan on April 13 in Manila, Philippines. (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE FILE PHOTO)

    "China's long-term, comprehensive transformation of its military forces is improving its capacity for force projection and anti-access/ area-denial," states the Pentagon's annual report on Chinese military power. Its ability to sustain such a move, however, remains limited, DoD notes.

    "Consistent with a near term focus on preparing for Taiwan Strait contingencies, China continues to deploy many of its most advanced systems to the military regions … opposite Taiwan," according to the report, released Aug. 16.

    Beijing's relationship with Taiwan is improving - but so is China's rapid military build-up.

    "Cross-strait economic and cultural ties continued to make important progress in 2009. Despite these positive trends, China's military build-up opposite the island continued unabated," states the DoD report.

    "The PLA is developing the capability to deter Taiwan independence or influence Taiwan to settle the dispute on Beijing's terms while simultaneously attempting to deter, delay, or deny any possible U.S. support for the island in case of conflict," according to the report. "The balance of cross-Strait military forces continues to shift in the mainland's favor."

    As far as Washington and Beijing, the report stresses the importance of military-to-military relations. It also includes a quote from U.S. President Obama stating his belief that it is not "predestined" that America and China ever become adversaries.

    The People's Liberation Army (PLA) possesses the "most active land-based ballistic and cruise missile program in the world," according to the Pentagon.

    The PLA is working on new classes of missiles, setting up new missile units and upgrading existing weapons. That includes highly accurate land- and sea-based cruise missiles. Several of these designs were acquired from Russia, states the U.S. Defense Department report.

    The Pentagon was several months late releasing the report, which typically hits the streets in early spring. Lawmakers in recent weeks have questioned the delay. DoD released the study in the middle of Congress' annual August recess; lawmakers will not return to Washington for several more weeks.

    Some in Congress, especially defense-minded Republicans, have for years pointed to the Chinese build-up as the main reason to keep U.S. defense spending high enough to build the kind of robust force needed for a conflict with the Asian powerhouse.

    In an Aug. 16 statement, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., did not go that far. But he did raise concerns about several aspects of the build-up, including the proliferation of Chinese missile systems so close to Taiwan.

    "Conflict between our nations remains a possibility, and we must remain prepared for whatever the future holds in the U.S.-China security relationship," Skelton said. "At the same time, we must each be mindful that our actions can produce unintended consequences, and although cooperation is a difficult path, it is ultimately the path that is in both nations' best interest."

    Meantime, the Pentagon said China also is working on new ways to counter enemy ballistic missile launches.

    The PLA currently has more than 1,100 CCS-6 and CCS-7 short-range ballistic missiles positioned to counter Taiwan, some with "improved ranges, accuracies, and payloads," according to DoD.

    The Pentagon also said China is working on an anti-ship ballistic missile, based on the CSS-5, with a range of more than 1,500 kilometers that is intended to counter enemy ships in the western Pacific Ocean.

    Its DF-31 and DF-31A nuclear-armed ICBMs are live, and the latter "can reach most locations within the continental United States."

    Beijing also is continuing its aircraft carrier program.

    "China is interested in building multiple operational aircraft carriers with support ships in the next decade," the report states.

    The PLA has "reportedly" launched an aircraft carrier pilot training program. DoD presumes it would begin with land-based instruction and "be followed in about four years by ship-borne training involving the ex-VARYAG - a former Soviet Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier - which was purchased by China from Ukraine in 1998 and is being renovated at a shipyard in Dalian, China."

    China's naval forces include some 75 principal combatants, more than 60 submarines, 55 medium and large amphibious ships, and roughly 85 missile-equipped patrol craft.

    It also is developing systems, like advanced radars, to allow it to detect and track enemy platforms beyond the horizon, according to DoD.

    The report says Beijing may eventually put to sea five of its "newest IN-class (Type 094)" nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).

    The PLA Navy also has 13 Song-class diesel-powered attack submarines, and may field up to 19 Yuan-class attack submarines, the follow-on to the Songs.

    China's surface combatant fleet, including the systems fitted on its ships, "reflect[s] the leadership's priority on an advanced anti-air warfare capability for China's naval forces, which has historically been a weakness of the fleet."

    The PLA's air fleet is composed of nearly 500 combat aircraft, all of which are positioned to strike Taiwan without refueling, with "airfield capacity to expand that number by hundreds," states the report.

    Beijing also is upgrading its B-6 bomber fleet, eyeing a new model that "will be armed with a new long-range cruise missile," DoD concludes.

    The PLA Air Force also "has continued to expand its inventory of long-range, advanced SAM systems and now possesses one of the largest such forces in the world," according to DoD.

    On the ground, China has nearly 400,000 troops stationed near Taiwan. The PLA is upgrading its land forces, too, adding more advanced tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery systems, DoD concludes.

    "Among the new capabilities acquired by, or under development for, PLA ground forces are Type 99 third-generation main battle tanks, a new-generation amphibious assault vehicle (AAV), and 200-mm, 300-mm, and 400-mm multiple rocket launch systems," the report states.

  9. #29

    Ares

    A Defense Technology Blog

    China's military growth not without hurdles


    Posted by Robert Wall at 8/17/2010 3:15 AM CDT

    When the Pentagon unveils its annual, congressionally mandated report on China’s military developments, as it did yesterday in the report found here, there is often much attention about advances the country has made in improving its military might, and particularly how it may have affected the balance across the Taiwan Strait.

    But the report is equally interesting to see where China is encountering problems in building up its prowess. One is in the realm of strategic lift. The Chinese air force has “encountered difficulty expanding its fleet of long-range heavy transport aircraf,” the report states. The finding is not new to the 2010 report, but there appears no progress in addressing this shortfall.

    Similarly, it is interesting to see the Pentagon's reaction to problems China has suffered in development of the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The missile, with a planned range of more than 7,000 km, has had several notable test failures, leading the Pentagon to conclude that “the date when the JIN-class SSBN/JL-2 SLBM combination will be operational is uncertain.” The submarine itself, the JIN-Class Type 094, “appears ready.”

    Also uncertain is the operational status of the combination of the XIA-class ballistic missile submarinewith the JL-1 ballistic missile. China has one XIA-class SSBN.

    Similarly, although China may start buildings an indigenous aircraft carrier already this year, the U.S. Defense Dept. estimates that “China will not have an operational, domestically produced carrier and associated ships before 2015.” That isn’t stopping China from hoping to have multiple carriers operational by 2020.

    That said, there are also a few interesting advances to note. For instance, the Pentagon now puts the number of DF-31 and DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles at 30 units, having previously not put a specific figure on the inventory. It also notes that the number will grow by 2015.

    The ballistic missile inventory for China has remained largely flat, although the number of CSS-5s has crept up slightly. That is also the missile the Pentagon is perhaps most concerned about, right now, because of efforts to turn it into a weapon to attack aircraft carriers. Although the Pentagon is watching the development it also notes that China will be challenged with providing such a weapons system the proper command and control backbone.

    Overall, as a Pentagon official says in releasing the report: “there aren’t any new surprises or game changers.”

  10. #30

    Taiwan, Japan Vow To Keep Close Eye On China

    By PETER HARMSEN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

    Published: 17 Aug 2010 08:56

    TAIPEI - Taiwan renewed its call Aug. 17 on the U.S. to sell it advanced weaponry as it joined Japan in vowing to keep a close eye on China's rising military power.

    Taipei and Tokyo were reacting to the release of a U.S. Defense Department report which warned that China's expanding capabilities are changing the strategic balance in East Asia.

    "We hope the U.S. can continue to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, including F16 C/Ds, diesel submarines and other items we have requested," Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Yu Sy-tue said.

    Taiwan has repeatedly stated its wish to acquire the F16 C/Ds - an upgraded version of the F16 fleet currently deployed by the island - and the diesel submarines, but the U.S. government has so far been non-committal.

    Earlier this year, Beijing reacted angrily to an arms deal between Washington and Taiwan, saying it would cut military and security contacts with the U.S.

    "China has not given up the use of force against Taiwan and we are closely monitoring China's military developments. We ask the public to rest assured," Yu said.

    Using similar wording, Japan said it would "keep paying attention to China's military trend."

    "It will have a significant impact on security in the region, including Japan, and on the international community," a defense ministry spokeswoman in Tokyo said.

    "China is activating its navy in the East China Sea and in the Pacific," the spokeswoman said.

    She said the defense ministry thought Beijing was extending its activities far offshore with the aim of protecting its territory, pre-empting Taiwan's possible independence and safeguarding its economic sea lanes.

    China considers Taiwan, where the mainland's defeated nationalists fled in 1949, to be territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

    In April, Tokyo protested after a Chinese naval helicopter made a close fly-by of one of its destroyers on the high seas off a southern Japanese island chain during exercises Japan considered provocative.

    A similar incident took place near the Okinawan islands in the same month when 10 Chinese naval vessels, including two submarines, were seen sailing through international waters between Japan's southernmost islands.

    In its annual report to Congress, the U.S. Defense Department said Monday that China was ramping up investment in an array of areas including nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, submarines, aircraft carriers and cyber warfare.

    The Pentagon paper estimated that China's overall military-related spending was more than $150 billion in 2009, including areas that do not figure in the publicly released budget.

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