US fears over China long-range missiles

The US is increasingly concerned about China’s deployment of mobile land and sea-based ballistic nuclear missiles that have the range to hit the US, according to people familiar with an imminent Pentagon report on China’s military.

The 2007 Pentagon China military power report will highlight the surprising pace of development of a new Jin-class submarine equipped to carry a nuclear ballistic missile with a range of more than 5,000 miles.

Washington is also concerned about the strategic implications of China’s preparations later this year to start deploying a new mobile, land-based DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the whole US.

Robert Gates, US defence secretary, on Thursday said the report would not exaggerate the threat posed by China. “It paints a picture of a country that is devoting substantial resources to the military and developing…some very sophisticated capabilities.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations

5 comments on “US fears over China long-range missiles

  1. In Texas says:

    Of course, guess where China got the improved rocket/launch technology tarting from around 10 years ago? From us! US companies needing to launch communications satellites recieved the OK to help on the commerical satellite business in China.

  2. Bob Lee says:

    #1…and when did this happen? Who gave them the “ok”?


  3. In Texas says:

    #2 I had to google this to refresh my memory on the particulars, but there was a flurry of acitivity in the mid and late 90’s around US companies going to China for launch capability for commerical satelites. Apparently, the Clinton administration OK’d the transfer of launch technology after there was an expensive US satelite destroyed during a launch failure.

    Here is a wikipedia link on the Cox Report regarding Chinese spying on US nuclear technology, which also mentions the transfer of launch technology after an expensive failure that destroyed a $200MM communication satelite.

    Also, if you google New York Times, China, launch, Sandy Berger, on this you get the following.
    White House Memos to President Reveal Strategy to Shift Purview Over Satellite Sales
    White House documents show that national security adviser Samuel Berger started trying in 1995 to get State Sec Warren Christopher to reverse his decision not to relax strict controls of shipment of American satellites to China; argument, made immediately after decision, was that Christopher did not properly consider interests of White House or American businessmen

    Papers Show White House Staff Favored a China Satellite Permit
    Internal documents released by White House show that Pres Clinton approved Chinese launch of American satellite on staff advice that economic and diplomatic advantages outweighed opposition of Federal prosecutors who were investigating Loral Space’s earlier, unauthorized, help to Chinese rocket program; documents show Clinton made decision on basis of policy debate, not because of urging by Loral chairman Bernard L Schwartz, Democratic party’s largest personal contributor; Clinton defends decisi…

  4. Scotsreb says:

    If I remember correctly, it was during the Clinton presidency, that the burden of licensing the export of high tech equipment, software and other technology was removed from the purview of the State Dept., and given to the Dept. of Commerce.

    Of course, this gave a much lower threshhold to all such licensing and the inevitable result, was the outflow of mil spec technology and software.

    I have no evidence to present, other than common sense, but I also seem to remember that Sen. Feinstein was very active at this time, in affecting the licensing process change, from State to Commerce. At the time, it was a given that Sen.Feinstein’s husbands multi-billion dollar dealings in China was of some influence in affecting the Senator.

  5. Tom Roberts says:

    Objectively, prior to the Loral dealmaking (which was the corporate link to Feinstein), the Long March missile system was a very unreliable launch system for either ICBMs or satellites. Afterwards it was sucessful.
    This type of historical pattern must be kept in mind with relation to missile defense. The PRC only had about 24 notional ICBMs in fixed sites before 1996. It would be a logical rationale that they didn’t buy more due to lack of a reliable launcher. Now they have a reliable launcher, they have both increased the numbers of ICBM launchers and introduced a whole new generation of mobile launchers, asides from starting a manned space flight program. The latter is significant as it implies a technical base which is capable of MIRV bus technology, which they also did not have in the 1990s.
    So much flowed from the Clinton administration decisions.