"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Thursday, October 15, 2015

China Expanding Regional Nuclear Forces

The New Kid on the Block
  • Suddenly a new kid has moved into the neighborhood, and his daddy has given him lots of shiny and expensive military toys to play with.

(Washington Free Beacon)  -  China is developing a nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile as part of a military buildup of both its regional and long-range nuclear forces, according to a forthcoming congressional commission report.
The latest publicly available draft of the annual report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission presents a dire picture of advancing Chinese military capabilities and declining relations with the United States.
“U.S.-China security relations continued to deteriorate in 2015,” the report concludes. “China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and its unremitting cyber espionage against the United States were the key drivers of growing distrust.”
The military buildup of high-tech weapons “makes clear that China seeks the capability to limit the U.S. military’s freedom of movement in the Western Pacific,” the report says.
On the regional nuclear buildup, the report says “China appears to be pursuing a theater nuclear capability in addition to the strategic nuclear capability it has maintained since it became a nuclear state in the 1960s.”

The growth in regional nuclear forces poses new dangers for a future conflict in the increasingly volatile Asia Pacific region, a zone where China added to destabilization through disputed maritime claims while seeking to drive U.S. forces out of the region.
“In a conflict, China’s maturing theater nuclear capability could provide it with the means to flexibly employ nuclear weapons to deescalate or otherwise shape the direction of conflict,” the report said.
China’s high-technology military buildup also includes an array of space weaponry that indicates Beijing is preparing for space warfare against U.S. satellites in a future conflict, according to the report.
A copy of the draft report was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon from the commission staff. The final report could change from the draft and will be released formally next month, a spokesman said.
The report said that in the three years since coming to power, Chinese supreme leaders Xi Jinping made significant progress in consolidating power, including a purge in the military ostensibly aimed at countering corruption that also is part of police power consolidation.
China’s space weaponry includes two types of anti-satellite missiles for attacking low-earth and high-earth orbit, small orbiting attack satellites, electronic jammers, lasers, and cyber weapons capable of taking control of satellites.
“As China’s developmental counterspace capabilities become operational, China will be able to hold at risk U.S. national security satellites in every orbital regime,” the report states.

China’s recent military parade marking the 70th anniversary of end of World War II included several new missiles, including the DF-26 intermediate-range missile that can be armed with both nuclear and conventional warheads.
“The parade highlighted the pace and sophistication of China’s missile modernization, and signaled to the world China’s seriousness about enhancing both its nuclear and conventional missile capabilities and its ability to hold adversary forces at greater distance and greater risk,” the report says.
Regarding the new cruise missile, the report states that China’s military is likely developing a nuclear-armed, air-launched cruise missile called the CJ-20 that will be outfitted on H-6 bombers, each of which can carry six of the missiles.
The missile sharply increases the range of its missile forces to include the U.S. island of Guam, a major military hub.
“A nuclear-capable CJ-20 would indicate China is developing new, air-delivered theater nuclear strike capabilities, in addition to its formidable ballistic missile theater nuclear forces and the strategic nuclear strike capability it has maintained since it became a nuclear state,” the report said.
The missile also could be deployed on Chinese ships and submarines allowing it to target U.S. military facilities in Guam, Hawaii, and Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean.
China’s anti-ship cruise missile forces also have “advanced significantly,” the report said.
“Because there are doubts regarding whether U.S. Navy shipboard systems could reliably and adequately defend against intense salvos of China’s advanced Russian-made and indigenous [anti-ship cruise missiles], China’s advancing ASCM technologies are reason for concern,” the report states.
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