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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China building EMP arms in case of conflict over Taiwan: report

Central News Agency

2011/07/24 14:37:50

Washington, July 22 (CNA) China is developing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons that it plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, the Washington Times reported Friday.

The paper said the arms are part of China's so-called "assassin's mace" arsenal -- weapons that could give a technologically inferior China a chance of defeating U.S. military forces.

The report was based on newly de-classified intelligence released by the U.S. National Ground Intelligence Center on the lethal effects of EMP and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that can knock out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas, the paper said. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii.

"For use against Taiwan, China could detonate at a much lower altitude (30 to 40 kilometers) . to confine the EMP effects to Taiwan and its immediate vicinity and minimize damage to electronics on the mainland," according to the intelligence report that was produced in 2005.

China's electronic weapons are part of what are called "trump card" or "assassin's mace" weapons "based on new technology that has been developed in high secrecy," the report said.

According to the report, China has conducted EMP tests on mice, rats, rabbits, dogs and monkeys, causing eye, brain, bone marrow and other organ injuries.

China's EMP capability could be used in two different ways: as a surprise measure after China's initial strike against Taiwan and U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups moved into a vulnerable position, and as a bluff intended to dissuade the United States from defending Taiwan with a CVBG, the Pentagon acronym for carrier strike groups, the report added. (By Chou Yung-chieh and Sofia Wu) Enditem/pc

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