News Brief – June 11, 2012
Although not quite yet an adversary, China is beginning to emerge as more than just a rival to the West’s pre-eminence in commerce.
With tensions mounting over Taiwan and the U.S. shifting its focus to the Asia Pacific region, China has announced it intends to use its upgraded conventional missile capability to protect its interests.
While continuing to develop its nuclear missiles, China has given increased impetus recently to improve its conventional missile’s ability.
Prior to the 1990 Gulf War China’s military planners had focused almost exclusively on nuclear missiles. However, the Gulf War reportedly brought home to China’s military leaders the importance of conventional missiles in modern war.
As a result China along with Iran and Pakistan have since developed a wide range of conventional missiles.
In a rare interview featured in India’s Economic Times, the Commander of China’s Second Artillery Force, which includes both conventional and nuclear missiles, emphasised the growing importance of conventional missiles in modern war.
According to Tan Weihong:
“Conventional missiles are a trump card in modern warfare. So we must be ready at any time. We must be able to deliver a quick response to attacks, hit the targets with high accuracy, and destroy them totally. Of the 114 missiles [our brigade] has launched so far, all have accurately hit the target.”