Beijing is defending the deployment of anti-ship cruise missiles to Woody Island in the South China Sea, according to a Wednesday statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.
“China’s deployment of national defense facilities on its own territory is reasonable and justified,” ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday.“It has nothing to do with the so-called militarization.”
Last week, several international news outlets reported the Chinese fired an YJ-62 cruise missile from Woody Island based on images that emerged on the Chinese language Internet.
Woody Island is part of China’s disputed holdings in the Paracel Island off the coast of Vietnam. In the last few months, China has moved more offensive military hardware to the chain Beijing has controlled since the early 1970s.
Last month, news broke that China had deployed several HQ-9 anti-air missiles batteries to Woody Island after the U.S. conducted a freedom of navigation operation (FON op) near Chinese holdings at nearby Triton Island.
Then as now, the foreign ministry said moving military kit to Xisha Islands – the Chinese name for the Paracels – were well within their rights and the missiles were for defensive purposes.
News of the new missiles on Woody comes as little surprise to experts who have monitored the military developments in the region over the last several months.
“While the HQ-9 deployment was a big deal because it was the first observation of a major weapon system on Woody Island, the YJ-62 is really the second act that provides an anti-surface capability to complement the HQ-9’s anti-air,” Chris Carlson, a retired U.S. Navy captain and naval analyst told USNI News on Thursday.“In my view, China is making it clear that any attempted intrusion, be it by air or on the ocean surface, will be met by their defenses.”
While in open conflict, the fixed position of the islands would make the missiles easy targets but the weapons could have a coercive effect to China’s neighbors and U.S. operations in peacetime, Bryan Clark, naval analyst Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) and former special assistant to past Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told USNI News on Wednesday.
“In a conflict, the islands will be hard to defend, but their value is in curtailing U.S. peacetime operations and in the opening moves of a conflict when they can threaten U.S. forces with a surprise attack,” he said.
“If the U.S. deployed similar forces to Palawan [in the Philippines], it could similarly impact [People‘s Liberation Army] operations.”
There is a concern now that China could use the same rationale for deploying offensive weapons on its disputed artificial islands in the Spratly Island chain — closer to the Philippines.
“Chinese activities in the Paracels will likely at least partially presage activities in the Spratlys. Beijing may act as if it is using Paracels-based actions to signal — with the implication that they will deploy infrastructure and systems robustly in the Spratlys only if ‘forced’ to do so because Washington ignored Beijing’s message,” Andrew Erickson, a professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College, told USNI News on Wednesday.
In the last year-and-a half China has stepped up land reclamation efforts in the Spratlys, building facilities that could easily host military equipment.
Source: USNI News “China Defends Deployment of Anti-Ship Missiles to South China Sea Island”
China Deploys Ludun-2000 Short-range Air Defense System on Paracel dated March 30
Photos of Launchs of YJ-62, HQ-9 Missile by Xisha (Paracel) Garrison dated March 30
Gyroscope of high accuracy, small size and cost is indispensable for positioning and navigation. Mini atomic spin gyroscope based on quantum precision measuring is a revolutionary new technology for such gyroscope.
Recently Beijing Automatic Control Equipment Research Institute has made breakthrough in such technology and thus make China the second country in the world in that technological area. It has reduced the technological gap between China and the US to seven years from ten.
With that technology, China has obtained new capability in seamless positioning navigation with no limit of space and time or reliance on satellite.
Source: Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology website “China has made breakthrough in mini atomic spin gyroscope technology: Only China and the US have such technology” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
News.qq.com website quotes Russian Korolev Talk about Military Column First 267 as saying that in addition to Shangyou-2, YJ-62 long-range land-based, YJ-83 series of aircraft/ship-based, YJ-82 submarine-based, YJ-18 general-purpose two-speed, YJ-12 supersonic air-to-surface, YJ-9 light air-to-surface, and Russian-made KH-59 and submarine-launched Club anti-ship missiles in service, China has quite a few other missiles that have anti-ship functions.
According to a March 24 article on PLA Daily, in a live ammunition drill in 2015, the Shenyang, a 051C missile destroyer in North Sea Fleet hit a surface target with a Russian-made S-300MF surface-to-air missile.
The Shenyang has 6 vertical launch systems with 8 units each for its 48 48N6 missiles with 150 km range. Each missile is 7.5 meters long and 0.5 meter in diameter and weighs 1,800 kg. Its warhead weighs 150 kg and is guided by a semi-automatic TVM guide system.
Usually an anti-ship missile has a semi-armor piercing warhead but an anti-aircraft missile has no such warhead. It hits an aircraft with the shreds of its explosion. Can such warhead be effective in destroying a warship? The Forum says that the warhead will cause serious damage if it explodes close above the deck of a warship.
The S-300 missile is guided by the radar on the destroyer, which has only a range of 35 km due to the curving surface of the earth. That limits the range of S-300. However China’s sea-version HQ-9 long-range air defense missile finds and tracks its targets with its own radar and thus has an effective of range of 150 km in hitting a warship.
Moreover, China’s ship-based Yu-8 anti-submarine missile and aircraft-based KH-31, KH-59, YJ-63 and YJ-88 air-to-ground missile also have anti-ship function.
Source: news.qq.com “In addition to S300, Chinese navy has a lot of concurrent anti-ship weapons” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
The United States has told China it will not recognize an exclusion zone in the South China Sea and would view such a move as “destabilizing,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said on Wednesday.
U.S. officials have expressed concern that an international court ruling expected in the coming weeks on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims could prompt Beijing to declare an air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, in the region, as it did in the East China Sea in 2013.
Work told an event hosted by the Washington Post that the United States would not recognize such an exclusion zone in the South China Sea, just as it did not recognize the one China established in the East China Sea.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year.
“We don’t believe they have a basis in international law, and we’ve said over and over (that) we will fly, sail and go wherever international law allows,” Work said.
“We have spoken quite plainly to our Chinese counterparts and said that we think an ADIZ would be destabilizing. We would prefer that all of the claims in the South China Sea be handled through mediation and not force or coercion,” he said.
Work spoke as Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to visit Washington for a nuclear security summit this week.
The United States has accused China of raising tensions in the South China Sea by its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, a move China has neither confirmed nor denied.
China, for its part, has repeatedly accused the United States of militarizing the South China Sea through its freedom of navigation patrols in the region and the expansion of military alliances with countries such as the Philippines.
In February, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country’s South China Sea military deployments were no different from U.S. deployments on Hawaii.
Tensions between China and its neighbors Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan over sovereignty in the South China Sea have risen after Beijing embarked on significant reclamations on disputed islands and reefs in the area.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alan Crosby)
Source: Reuters “U.S. says it will not recognize South China Sea exclusion zone”
Recently CCTV shows footage of China’s deployment of Ludun-2000 short-range air defense system on Xisha (Paracel) Islands. The above photos of the system are taken from the footage.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Xisha Islands garrisons equipped with Ludun-2000 system” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
CCTV shows footage of the launches of YJ-62 anti-ship and HQ-9 air defence missiles by garrisons on Xisha (Paracel) and Nansha (Spratly) Islands in their military drills. The above photos are taken from the footage.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Disclosure of Launch of YJ-62 Missile by Xisha (Paracel) Garrison” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
China will put its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile into service as early as this year, according to a regional defence magazine.
The DF-41, which was described by Washington as the world’s longest-range missile, has entered its final test phase, according to Canada-based Kanwa Asian Defence.
With an operational range of up to 14,500km, the DF-41 would first be deployed to the advanced brigade of the People’s Liberation Army’s new Rocket Force based in Xinyang in Henan province, the report said.
From there, the missile would be able to strike the United States within half an hour by flying over the North Pole or slightly more than 30 minutes by crossing the Pacific, the report said.
But defence analysts said it was not clear if the DF-41 could break through the multilayered US missile defence system in the Asia-Pacific region.
“No one questions the longest range of the DF-41 is near 15,000km. But within just a few minutes of being launched, it might be blocked by the US’ defence system at its Guam naval base,” Professor He Qisong, a defence policy specialist at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said.
China admits to carrying out tests of new long-range missile in wake of US report of DF-41 sighting(
The solid-fuel, road-mobile ICBM had been tested at the Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Centre – also known as the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre – in Shanxi province since last summer, the Kanwa report said.
The DF-41 has been tested at least five times since July, 2014, according to the US-based Washington Free Beacon.
Earlier reports from the website said US intelligence agencies had detected that the PLA’s missile force submitted a DF-41 missile to a “canister ejection test” from a railway-mounted mobile launcher on December 5.
The test was a milestone for Chinese strategic weapons developers and showed that Beijing was moving ahead with building and deploying the DF-41 on difficult-to-locate rail cars, in addition to previously known road-mobile launchers, the website said.
Kanwa chief editor Andrei Chang said the strike rate of the DF-41 would improve further after 2020 when China completed its home-grown BeiDou navigation satellites, helping to wean the PLA off its dependence on the US’ Global Positioning System.
But He said the US might develop technology to jam the BeiDou system’s signals.
“The US has spared no effort to upgrade its missile defence system year after year,” He said. “The missile systems – so far – are just a game of threats played among the great powers.”
Source: SCMP “China’s top new long-range missile ‘may be deployed this year’, putting US in striking distance”
Mil.news.sina.com says in its report on March 27 that China has built a prototype of steam catapult as it has got top secret blueprints of the catapult that the Soviet Union had developed for its first nuclear aircraft carrier the Ulyanovsk, which was being built and then scrapped when the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukrainian experts helped China build the prototype.
As China has mastered the technology to build a more advanced electromagnetic catapult, China will not install any steam catapults in its future nuclear aircraft carrier. However, the technology learnt from the steam catapult has certain been very helpful.
In addition, according to mil.eastday.com’s report a few days earlier, Ukraine has moved its large aircraft production line to China. The technology China has learnt from the production line will greatly help China in developing large airliners, transport aircrafts and strategic bombers.
Sources: mil.news.sina.com “Depth Column: How close is the friendship between Ukraine and China?: Provision of top secret of Soviet nuclear aircraft carrier” and mil.eastday.com “Through cooperation with that country, it is hopeful for China to greatly upgrade its large aircraft technology” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the reports in Chinese)
In an apparent about-face, Malaysia’s navy yesterday said no Chinese vessels had encroached into Malaysian waters after investigating claims by the maritime authorities that 82 fishing boats were spotted off Beting Patinggi Ali, in the hotly disputed South China Sea.
Malaysia’s National Security Minister Shahidan Kassim had said last week that three Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) ships and navy assets were sent to the area after aerial monitoring found a group of Chinese fishing boats there.
But Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the navy chief told him yesterday that there was no trespass by Chinese vessels. “I am relieved that he (the navy chief) confirmed that our waters are safe,” he told reporters.
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin had on Sunday indicated a reluctance to escalate tensions with China over the alleged encroachment into Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, saying that even if the sightings were confirmed, the issue could be “resolved bilaterally” with Malaysia’s top trade partner.
Sources said that although the boats were not clearly marked as Chinese, they were escorted by Chinese coast guard vessels. But the Defence Minister’s denial of Beijing’s involvement has caused confusion even among his colleagues. Datuk Seri Shahidan insisted “the boats are always there”, and told The Straits Times to “call the MMEA now, they must have answers ready”.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration has enjoyed cordial ties with Beijing, and Chinese investments have hit record highs, with billions of ringgit poured into taking control of energy and property arms previously owned by 1Malaysia Development Berhad. The government-owned investor was forced to sell these assets as it was struggling to meet obligations of RM42 billion (S$14.3 billion) in debt.
The incident came after Jakarta said last week a Chinese patrol boat had forcibly prevented its maritime authorities from detaining a Chinese fishing boat that was allegedly poaching in Indonesian waters.
Source: The Strait Times “No trespass by Chinese vessels: Malaysian navy”
In the past, Russia provided better fighter jets for Vietnam and India than for China in order to contain the rise of China’s military power.
Since Obama began his pivot to Asia, China has tried its best to draw Russia to its side. The US, however, has pushed Russia to China’s side in the Ukraine crisis. Now, Russian is providing China with its best weapons and military technology.
Having lost its most powerful potential ally in dealing with China, the US has been trying its best to exploit the maritime territorial dispute between Vietnam and China to pit Vietnam against China.
China is clever in developing close economic relations with Vietnam and providing Vietnam with preferential loans to help Vietnam’s economic growth and ease its tension with Vietnam.
Vietnam is also clever in encouraging the US to confront China while it itself is trying its best to ease tension with China. Vietnam knows well that China can attack it across their mutual border with its huge army. If such attack does happen, the US will not be able to help Vietnam even if it wants.
As a result, there is no standoff between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels now when Chinese oil rigs are operating in disputed waters nor fishing conflicts though people believe that with US support, Vietnam would have taken a more hardline stance against China.
In fact, Vietnam is hardline only in oral protests to please the US in order to get financial, trade and military aids from the US while the US is stupid enough to really provide such aids in the hope that it can turn Vietnam into China’s enemy. Does the US forget that in terms of ideology, China is Vietnam’s ally while the US is Vietnam’s enemy that has fought a bitter war with Vietnam due to the ideological conflicts?
True enough, according to SCMP’s report today titled “China, Vietnam vow to boost military ties amid strained relations over South China Sea”, Vietnam and China now “vow to forge stronger military links and maintain calm amid tensions over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea”
Comments by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1931295/china-vietnam-vow-boost-military-ties-amid-strained