In Case You Missed It...
Tuesday, July 21, 1998
From Todays Washington TimesChina adds 6 ICBMs to Arsenal
By Bill Gertz
"China produced six new CSS-4 intercontinental ballistic missiles in the first four months of this year, a one-third increase in its ICBM arsenal largely targeting the United States, according to Pentagon intelligence officials.
"Two more such missiles will be built this year before China shuts down -- and relocates -- its sole ICBM production plant as part of a major defense industry restructuring, the officials told The Washington Times.
"The CIA reported earlier this year that 13 of China's 18 long-range nuclear missiles were targeted at U.S. cities. At the summit last month, China promised to de-target the systems away from the United States, although the change cannot be verified.
"The production of eight new ICBMs represents a dramatic increase in the number of long-range missiles in China's arsenal. This is missile production far beyond anything we have seen from the Chinese in recent years, said one official.
"A report by a bipartisan congressional commission released last week warned that China's future is clouded by a range of uncertainties, and that several potential flash points, such as Taiwan, could bring it into conflict with the United States.
" China is modernizing its long-range missiles and nuclear weapons in ways that will make it a more threatening power in the event of a crisis, the report said. A blue-ribbon panel of experts headed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld produced the report.
"The report also observed that a Chinese general noted that the United States would not be willing to trade Los Angeles for Taipei --an apparent reference to a nuclear strike on the United States over Taiwan. The report stated that the threat, made by Chinese Lt. Gen. Xiong Guangkai, seemed designed to link China's ballistic missile capability with its regional priorities.
"China also poses a threat to the United States as a significant proliferator of ballistic missiles, weapons of mass destruction and enabling technologies, the report said, noting extensive transfers to Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The commission said China is unlikely to reduce its transfers of technologies and experts to nations seeking missiles."
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