China’s another leap forward

CHINA has successfully tested a missile intercept system to shoot down missiles in mid-air. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing said the January 11 test of ground-based, mid-course missile intercepting technology had achieved what she described as the expected result and at the same time emphasised the test is defensive in nature and is not targeted at any country.

The Chinese missile intercept test is yet another leap forward, mastery of a very difficult and complicated technology and speaks volumes of advances the country is making in different sectors. The test was conducted not long after the United States approved a sale of advanced missiles to Taiwan, despite strong opposition from Beijing. Missile Defence system is seen as an integral part of national security by many countries which increases deterrent against those nations that would threaten their homelands. China as a premier world power substantially validates the necessity of missile defence as a policy. Earlier China conducted a successful anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test on 11 January 2007 when a kinetic kill vehicle launched by a medium range ballistic missile destroyed an inactive Chinese weather satellite. The US is the leading power, which had developed surface to air guided missile defence system designed to detect, target and destroy incoming ballistic missiles flying three to five times the speed of sound. It first deployed the anti missile Patriot system during the 1991 Gulf War and shot down some of the Iraqi Scud missiles. In doing so, Patriot became the first anti-missile system to eliminate hostile warheads in combat. After the war it also began to develop the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3). The PAC-3 is a “hit-to-kill” system and destroys its targets by the kinetic energy released in a head-on collision. Anyhow the successful test of the missile intercept system by Beijing is a proof of the vision of Chinese leadership which is focussing to achieve mastery in hi-tech. Unfortunately this vision and approach is lacking in Pakistan and it is time that we should learn from the Chinese experience and focus on Research and Development not only for further strengthening the defence of the country but also in meeting our energy and other needs.

China has reported it successfully tested a missile intercept system, in what analysts said was a show of its advanced air defence capabilities.

China conducted a test on ground-based midcourse missile interception technology within its territory. The test has achieved the expected objective. It is said to be defensive in nature and is not targeted at any country.

The news comes soon after a US official in Taipei said the Pentagon had approved the sale of Patriot missile equipment to Taiwan as part of a package passed by Congress more than a year ago.

Beijing — which considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to take the island back, by force if necessary — has repeatedly voiced its opposition to the sales and urged Washington to cancel the deal.

China’s defence ministry had warned at the weekend that it reserved the right to take unspecified action if Washington followed through with the sale, which it called a “severe obstacle” to China-US military ties.

The United States is the leading arms supplier to Taiwan, even though it switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

But analysts said while the test would keep pressure on the United States over the Taiwan weapons sales, it was likely conducted as a general show of force, rather than for Washington’s benefit, especially given the preparation time needed.

Beijing has poured money into its military in recent years as part of a major drive to upgrade the equipment used by the nation’s 2.3-million-strong armed forces.

China’s military spending rose 15.3 percent in 2009 to 69 billion dollars, according to a budget submitted to parliament in March, the latest in more than a decade-long string of double-digit increases.

But amid growing concern overseas about China’s military intentions, Beijing frequently stresses the defensive nature of its armed forces.

The Global Times quoted senior military strategist Yang Chengjun as saying that the test had “ushered China into a new phase in terms of missile interception technologies”.

“China needs an improved capability and more means of military defence as the country faces increasing security threats,” Yang was quoted as saying.

That test came after the United States, under former president George W. Bush, announced a robust US plan to weaponise space — a move vocally countered by Beijing and Moscow. –>Pravda.Ru


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