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SupremeSpod
20th July 2005, 08:52
US reports China missile build-up (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4698655.stm)

China has deployed up to 730 short-range ballistic missiles on its coast opposite Taiwan, the US defence department says.

Another 100 missiles are being deployed every year, it says.

In an annual report to Congress, the Pentagon says China could now be spending up to $90bn a year on defence.

China's military build-up puts regional balances at risk, the Pentagon says, adding that this military modernisation is aimed at winning a war with Taiwan.

The defence department concludes that China does not face a threat from any other nation. Yet, says its report, China continues to invest heavily in its military.

China is also developing the capability to launch air strikes and mount a blockade against the island and Chinese planners are looking for ways of delaying any intervention by the US in a cross-strait conflict, the Pentagon says.

'Credible threat'

The balance of power across the Taiwan Strait, says the report, is shifting in Beijing's favour.

But the Pentagon also believes that China's strategic planners are looking beyond Taiwan. The report points to China's growing missile capability and the imminent deployment of mobile, long-range, ballistic missiles, known as DF31s, which could hit targets worldwide with nuclear warheads.

The Chinese navy has bought into service advanced guided missile destroyers, submarines and fighter aircraft, bought from Russia.

Over the long term, says the Pentagon, if current trends persist, the Chinese military could pose a credible threat to other modern militaries operating in the region.

That is code for American forces in Asia.

The drafting of this report has been a contentious process, reflecting divisions in Washington between those who view Chinese power as a serious emerging threat and those who take a more benign view.

But the final product is a document tough in substance and in tone which will do little or nothing to reassure those Americans who worry about China's intentions.

Spod - In "Courtesy of the BBC" mode!

WageSlave
20th July 2005, 08:55
Spod, good to see you maintaining your usual diplomatic skills ;)

Don't worry, Russia usually flogs it's old crap to other countries and keeps all the decent stuff... Iraqi T-34 tanks :D