Thursday, 22 January 2015

United States Alarmed By China’s 10 DF-31 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

The United States is concerned as China’s strategic missile force, or the Second Artillery Corps, has 10 DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missiles ready in service. Intelligence reports from the Pentagon revealed that while launch of the DF-31 missiles will not be able to hit the central U.S., the modified DF-31A, with a range of 11,200 kilometers, is capable of hitting key locations in the U.S.
The People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, would only need a maximum of 30 minutes to launch the DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

According to ibtimes Australia, the Pentagon found that China is also developing another missile, the DF-41. Both the DF-31 and DF-41 missiles are road-mobile (see attached pics) with enhanced accuracy and designed to release multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, or MIRVs. The Want China Times reports that the Pentagon found China has 30 DF-31 and DF-31A missiles.

The Pentagon had always been wary about China’s military advancement activities. In a separate report titled Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014, Pentagon noted that China had announced a 5.7 percent increase in its annual military budget to $119.5 billion. The Pentagon report highlights that there have been consistent defense spending increases for more than two decades now.

The Pentagon Annual Report to Congress outlines China had been massively investing in modernizing its strategic weapons, including but not limited to anti-access/area-denial or A2/AD capabilities such as advanced intermediate- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, long-range land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles, counter-space weapons and offensive cyber capabilities. China’s military investments made it possible for the country to own strategic weapons at increasingly longer ranges. In 2013, the country conducted at-sea testing of its first aircraft carrier and had since been developing fifth generation aircraft. Pentagon is concern that as China enhances its military arsenals, the country is notably increasing its military presence in regions all over the world, creating new and expanding economic and diplomatic interests that compromise the interests of its neighbor countries, including allies and partners of the United States. It does not help that China had been elusive about its military modernization program.

“Although the dialogue between the United States and China is improving, outstanding questions remain about the rate of growth in China’s military expenditures due to lack of transparency regarding China’s intentions,” the Pentagon said in its annual report. The last progressive talk between U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping was in June 2013. At that time, the two leaders promised to work together in building a “new model” of relations in managing differences in China and U.S. bilateral relationship. However, China had laid out plans of developing and achieving military rejuvenation up until 2049.