China develops new generation of missiles

China is developing a new and more capable generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles, including a naval warship with upgraded air-defence and anti-submarine missiles that will be similar to the US Navy’s Aegis equipped destroyers, according to Chinese officials.

The move is seen as a response to the U.S. decision to expand its missile defence shield in the Asia-Pacific region by finding a base for another early-warning X-Band radar that would supplement the one positioned in northern Japan since 2006.

The resulting radar arc would cover North Korea and a part of China. U.S. officials have been quick to stress that their main concern is Pyongyang. China, however, fears the system could diminish its strategic deterrent and possibly put a missile defence cap over Taiwan.

China's military expansion comes as U.S. allies in East Asia raise alarm over Beijing’s territorial claims in the East China and South China Seas.

The new U.S. defence strategy, released in January 2012, defines China as a security threat. In June, U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States plan to increase its naval presence in Asia-Pacific, seeing 60 percent of its fleet move to the region by 2020 as opposed to about 50 percent today.

The SDA's debate “Next steps in missile defence” will take place on 27 September, 2012.

© 2011-04-09 by Sam / Olai Ose / Skjaervoy at wikimedia commons
Original source: Wikimedia