Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


DATE=01/15/97
TYPE=CLOSEUP
NUMBER=4-09553
TITLE=CHINA/MISSILES
BYLINE=FEI WANG
TELEPHONE=619-2913
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
EDITOR=NANCY SMART

CONTENT= // ACTUALITIES AVAILABLE IN AUDIO SERVICES //

INTRO: CHINA IS MOVING TO MODERNIZE ITS SHORT AND INTERMEDIATE-RANGE MISSILES WITH GLOBAL POSITIONING SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY. THIS TECHNOLOGY, WHICH WILL GREATLY ENHANCE THE ACCURACY OF CHINA'S MISSILES, HAS CAUSED CONCERN AMONG CHINA'S NEIGHBORS. AND MILITARY EXPERTS WARN THAT IT COULD INCREASE THE DANGER OF NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION IN ASIA. VOA'S FEI WANG HAS THIS REPORT.

TEXT: MILITARY EXPERTS SAY CHINA HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN MODIFYING ITS MISSILE GUIDANCE TECHNOLOGY. RICHARD FISHER JR., A SENIOR POLICY ANALYST WITH THE ASIAN STUDIES CENTER OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, A WASHINGTON THINK TANK, SAID THAT HE IS NOT SURE WHEN CHINA WILL COMPLETE AND DEPLOY ITS MODIFIED DF SERIES MISSILES (DF STANDS FOR DONG FENG, MEANING THE EAST WIND). BUT, HE SAYS, CHINA'S MISSILES ALREADY POSE A THREAT TO THE REGIONAL STABILITY.

TAPE CUT ONE -- FISHER :44"

"IT IS VERY POSSIBLE THAT CHINA WAS GOING TO LAUNCH BETWEEN TWENTY AND THIRTY DF-15 OR M-9 (SHORT-RANGE) MISSILES DURING THE MILITARY EXERCISES NEAR TAIWAN LAST MARCH. CHINA IS WORKING VERY HARD TO IMPROVE THE ACCURACY OF THE DF-15 WITH GLOBAL POSITIONING SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY. AND MORE TROUBLING IS THAT CHINA IS BUILDING A TERMINALLY GUIDED WARHEAD FOR ITS DF-21 MEDIUM-RANGE MISSILES. (OPT) WHEN THIS MISSILE IS COMPLETED, IT WILL HAVE MUCH OF THE SAME CAPABILITIES OF THE AMERICAN PERSHING II MEDIUM-RANGE MISSILE, THAT WAS WITHDRAWN AS PART OF THE 1987 EUROPEAN INTERMEDIATE NUCLEAR FORCES AGREEMENT WITH THE FORMER SOVIET UNION."

(END OPT)

TEXT: MR. FISHER SAYS HE LEARNED ABOUT THE CHINESE WORK WITH GLOBAL POSITIONING SATELLITE (G-P-S) TECHNOLOGY RECENTLY, WHEN HE ATTENDED AN AIR SHOW IN ZHUHAI, CHINA.

TAPE: CUT TWO -- FISHER :50"

"I WAS TOLD QUITE FRANKLY BY AN ENGINEER WORKING IN AN INSTITUTE ASSOCIATED WITH INCORPORATING GPS TECHNOLOGY INTO MISSILE GUIDANCE SYSTEMS THAT CHINA WAS USING GPS TO IMPROVE THE DF-15, THE MISSILE USED NEAR TAIWAN IN 1996 AND 1995. AND THE SAME GENTLEMAN TOLD ME THAT CHINA WAS WORKING ON A TERMINALLY GUIDED WARHEAD FOR THE DF-21. THIS WAS REALLY AN AMAZING CONVERSATION, AND IN AS MUCH AS THIS INDIVIDUAL WAS WORKING FOR THE INSTITUTE THAT WOULD DO JUST THIS KIND OF WORK, I HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THIS ENGINEER WAS A VERY CREDIBLE SOURCE. AND THAT WHAT HE TOLD ME WAS OF EXTREME IMPORTANCE FOR STRATEGIC DELIBERATIONS IN ASIA."

TEXT: A TERMINALLY GUIDED WARHEAD SYSTEM IS AN ADVANCED MISSILE GUIDANCE TECHNOLOGY THAT MATCHES PICTURES OBTAINED BY THE MISSILE'S RADAR TO DIGITAL MAP PICTURES IN THE MISSILE'S COMPUTER. WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY, CHINA'S DF-21, AN INTERMEDIATE-RANGE BALLISTIC MISSILE WHOSE RANGE IS 1,125 MILES, COULD DESTROY AIRCRAFT HANGERS ON AN AIRFIELD. MR. FISHER SAID THAT THIS COULD VASTLY INCREASE THE DANGER TO AMERICAN AND ALLIED FORCES IN ASIA. HE ADDED THAT IF TAIWAN WERE UNSURE ABOUT AMERICAN PROTECTION, TAIWAN MIGHT CONSIDER THE NUCLEAR OPTION, AND TOKYO AND SEOUL WOULD NOT BE FAR BEHIND.

TAPE CUT THREE -- FISHER :31

"CHINA'S DEVELOPMENT OF MISSILES AND ITS DEMONSTRATED USE OF THOSE MISSILES NEAR TAIWAN IS LOWERING THE NUCLEAR THRESHOLD IN ASIA. IT IS MAKING MORE ATTRACTIVE TO COUNTRIES LIKE TAIWAN, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA THEIR OWN NUCLEAR OPTION. THE ULTIMATE PRICE CHINA MAY PAY FOR ITS MISSILE PRESSURE AGAINST TAIWAN IS THAT IT WILL FACE NOT JUST ONE POTENTIAL NUCLEAR-ARMED ADVERSARY, BUT COULD VERY QUICKLY FACE FOUR NUCLEAR-ARMED ADVERSARIES IN ASIA."

TEXT: THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT DENIES ITS DEFENSE MODERNIZATION HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THREATS OR EXPANSION. CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER CHI HAOTIAN SAID LAST MONTH DURING HIS VISIT TO THE U-S THAT CHINA HAS NO INTENTION OF THREATENING OTHER COUNTRIES. HE ALSO BRUSHED AWAY U-S NUCLEAR WORRIES AS "EXAGGERATED."

TAPE CUT FOUR -- CHI (IN MANDARIN)

"CHINA HAS NEVER INVADED ANY COUNTRY, NOR HAS IT STATIONED A SINGLE SOLDIER ABROAD. HOWEVER, THERE ARE STILL SOME PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO KEEP SPREADING THE FALLACY OF THE CHINESE THREAT, ARGUING THAT A STRONGER CHINA WILL THREATEN OTHERS AND BECOME A DESTABILIZING FACTOR IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION. I BELIEVE THESE PEOPLE HAVE ULTERIOR MOTIVES. THEY ARE NOT HAPPY TO SEE CHINA DEVELOP AND PROGRESS."

TEXT: ANALYST RICHARD FISHER SUGGESTED THAT THE U-S SHOULD HELP ITS ALLIES IN ASIA BUILD UP A NON-NUCLEAR ASIA-WIDE MISSILE DEFENSE NETWORK TO DEFER THE DANGER OF WIDER NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION IN ASIA.

TAPE CUT FIVE -- FISHER :36"

"A NON-NUCLEAR MISSILE DEFENSE NETWORK IN ASIA EQUALS NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL IN ASIA. THIS IDEA IS TRULY INCOMPREHENSIBLE IN BEIJING. THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS IDEA. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE PEOPLE OF CHINA THINK ABOUT THIS, AND THINK VERY, VERY CAREFULLY ABOUT WHAT THEIR GOVERNMENT IS DOING, HOW THEIR GOVERNMENT IS CREATING MORE DANGERS FOR THE PEOPLE OF CHINA, SERIOUS DANGERS, AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT THAT LEADERS OF CHINA THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT A MATURE AND RATIONAL POLICY TOWARDS ITS NUCLEAR FORCES."

TEXT: BUT ZHAO YUNSHAN, AUTHOR OF THE BOOK "CHINA'S MISSILES AND ITS STRATEGY", TOLD VOA FROM HIS BEIJING HOME THAT HE BELIEVES THE PROPOSED ASIA-WIDE MISSILE DEFENSE NETWORK IS NOT NECESSARY AND MAY BACKFIRE.

TAPE CUT SIX -- ZHAO (IN MANDARIN)

"IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE THAT CHINA'S DF-15 MISSILES WOULD DEPEND ON THE U-S GPS TECHNOLOGY. IF CHINA WERE TO TARGET ITS MISSILES AGAINST U-S BASES IN ASIA, THE U-S COULD SIMPLY TURN THE SYSTEM OFF, AND THAT WOULD DISABLE ALL THE MISSILES. CHINA HAS TO DEVELOP ITS OWN SIMILAR TECHNOLOGY AND IT MAY TAKE YEARS FOR THE TECHNOLOGY TO MATURE. ON THE OTHER HAND, CHINA'S MILITARY MODERNIZATION IS A STEADY PROCESS AND WILL NOT BE AFFECTED BY OUTSIDE SMALL EVENTS. BUT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT MAY ACCELERATE THE PACE OF THE MILITARY UPGRADING IF IT FEELS THREATENED."

TEXT: MR. FISHER, A CHINA EXPERT AT THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, BELIEVES THAT REGIONAL STABILITY WILL DEPEND HEAVILY ON HEALTHY AND CONSTRUCTIVE US-CHINESE RELATIONS. AND HE SAYS THAT WHILE THE U-S AND CHINA ARE IMPROVING THEIR RELATIONS, THE U-S AND ITS ALLIES IN ASIA SHOULD TRY TO PERSUADE BEIJING TO ABIDE BY INTERNATIONAL SECURITY RULES. (SIGNED)

NEB/FW/NES

15-Jan-97 1:57 PM EST (1857 UTC)

Source: Voice of America



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list