China’s Missile Development A US Threat
China continues to develop its ballistic missile defense or BMD capabilities, according to Frank Rose, assistant secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Federation of American Scientists. In his remark on Feb 20, Rose highlighted the need for a sustained dialogue between the Chinese and American governments to ensure a stable U.S.-China strategic relationship.
The two governments should discuss each of their respective defense policies and strategies, according to Rose. The U.S. is welcoming an opportunity to know about how BMD fits into China’s defense policy and strategy.
China had publicly announced its tests of ground-based mid-course BMD in 2010, 2013 and 2014. Chinese local media said the conducted tests are defensive in nature and are not targeted towards any country or enemy.
However, Rose said the experience of the US with BMD, specifically ground-based mid-course defense or GMD, suggests that attempting to develop such system to defend against BMD attack from China or Russia would be extremely challenging and costly. Rose highlighted that the challenge arise from the size and sophistication of Chinese and Russian ICBMs. This, he said, should serve as lens for China in anticipating challenges it may face in its development of BMD.
The U.S. BMD capabilities provide defense of the country’s homeland from limited ICBM attack, not intending to counter Russia’s or China’s strategic deterrent. The U.S. GMD system is not capable of defending the states against larger and more sophisticated arsenals of Russia and China, Rose said.
China’s anti-Satellite Weapons Program
U.S. and China should also talk about China’s testing of a “land-based missile interception test.” Rose said even with China saying that the test conducted on July 2014 was not an anti-Satellite or ASAT testing, U.S. “has high confidence” that the testing made was indeed an ASAT test.
China’s continued development and testing of destructive ASAT systems posed security and sustainability threats to outer space. “A previous destructive test of the Chinese system in 2007 created thousands of pieces of debris, which continue to present an ongoing danger to the space systems – as well as astronauts – of all nations, including China,” Rose said.
With all these perceived threats, Rose highlighted the importance for U.S. to build a strategic relationship with China.
DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles
China recently deployed DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles to the Southern province of Guangdong, Want China Times reported, citing a report from Kanwa Defense Review.
The ballistic missile has an attack range of 27,000 kilometers and could be use to deter attack from the United States and its allies in the Western Pacific. The DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles would particularly serve as blockade in the disputed southern areas and the Taiwan Strait. There are other missiles of this type that are deployed to different Chinese bases, Want China Times reported.