The first time the Chinese side has revealed details of the missile launches
The two “aircraft-carrier killer” missiles that China launched in August traveled hundreds of kilometers and hit their designated goal, a shifting ship, in Bien Dong Sea, in response to a Chinese language navy knowledgeable, Global News 24 cited from a Chinese military expert.
This is the first time the Chinese side has revealed details of the missile launches, which were first reported by the South China Morning Post in August. The news was later confirmed by the US military.
After the launches, it was reported that the missiles fell into the Bien Dong Sea, but Wang Xiangsui, a former senior colonel who now works as a professor at Beihang University in Beijing, said they hit a ship, their intended target.
|Military vehicles carrying DF-26 ballistic missiles take part in a parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing. Photo: Reuters|
One of the missiles, a DF-26B, was launched from the northwestern province of Qinghai, while the other, a DF-21D, lifted off from Zhejiang province in China’s east, South China Morning Post reported.
The launches came a day after Beijing said a US U-2 spy plane entered a no-fly zone without permission during a Chinese live-fire naval drill in the Bohai Sea off its northern coast. The US Navy had earlier sent two aircraft carrier strike groups into Bien Dong Sea.
“So several days later [after the aircraft carrier manoeuvres], we launched the DF-21 and DF-26, and the missiles hit a vessel sailing south of the Paracel Islands,” Wang said at a closed-door meeting in Zhejiang last month. The details of his speech were published for the first time on Wednesday.
“Shortly after that, an American military attaché in Geneva complained [to us] and said it would lead to severe consequences if the missiles hit an American aircraft carrier. They see this as a show of force. But we are doing this because of their provocation,” Wang said.
|The Chinese missiles hit a moving target close to the Paracel Islands, a former PLA colonel said. Photo: AFP|
China may outmatch American military in missile development and shipbuilding
China may have surpassed American military capabilities in the area of missile development and shipbuilding, and is likely to double its nuclear warhead stockpile over the next decade, the US Defence Department said in an annual report to US lawmakers.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with ranges of up to 5,500km (3,400 miles), compared with the US military’s single type of conventional GLBM, which is limited to a range of 70km to 300km (43 to 186 miles), and no GLCMs, according to the report.
|People’s Liberation Army soldiers march next to the entrance to the Forbidden City during the opening ceremony of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in May in Beijing. Photo: AFP|
According to Economy News, China had developed its conventional missile forces unrestrained by any international agreements, the report said. The country also has “one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air systems – including Russian-built S-400s, S-300s, and domestically produced systems”.
“Over the next decade, China’s nuclear warhead stockpile – currently estimated to be in the low 200s – is projected to at least double in size as China expands and modernizes its nuclear forces,” the report said, adding that the goal is a “nuclear triad” with the development of a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile while improving ground and sea-based nuclear capabilities.
|The USS Ronald Reagan had previously conducted operations in the South China Sea in July and August. Photo: EPA-EFE|
Overall, the report, known informally as the “China Military Power Report”, portrays the rapid development of China’s armed forces as part of its government’s plan to achieve a “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2049 and “revise the international order”.
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