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China has moved new advanced missiles closer to India's borders

August 21, 2010

Tibetan Review
August 19, 2010

China has moved new advanced longer range CSS-5
missiles close to the borders with India and
developed contingency plans to shift airborne
forces at short notice to the region, says the US
Defense Department in its latest annual report to
the Congress released Aug 17. The report says
tensions remain along the Sino-India borders with
rising instances of border violation and
aggressive border patrolling by Chinese soldiers.

The report says that to improve regional
deterrence, the PLA had replaced older
liquid-fueled, nuclear capable CCS-3 intermediate
range missiles with more advanced and survivable fueled CSS-5 MRBMs.

The Pentagon report, criticized for its
five-month delay, says Beijing remains concerned
with persistent disputes along China's shared
border with India and the strategic ramifications
of India's rising economic, political, and military power.

However, a senior Defense Department official was
cited as telling reporters that the US had not
observed any anomalous increase in military
capabilities along the Sino-India border. He has
said both the sides were paying close attention
to the border developments and had been able to
manage the dispute, in a way, using
confidence-building measures and diplomatic mechanisms.

The 83-page report, "Military and Security
Developments Involving the People's Republic of
China" also notes, "China has deepened its ties
with India through increased trade, high-level
dialogues, and an improved military-to-military relationship."

Nevertheless, "despite increased political and
economic relations over the years between China
and India, tensions remain along their shared
4,057 km border, most notably over Arunachal
Pradesh, which China asserts is part of Tibet and
therefore of China, and over the Aksai Chin
region at the western end of the Tibetan Plateau," the report says.

The report further says: "Both countries, in
2009, stepped up efforts to assert their claims.
China tried to block a USD 2.9 billion loan to
India from the Asian Development Bank, claiming
part of the loan would have been used for water
projects in Arunachal Pradesh. This represented
the first time China sought to influence this
dispute through a multilateral institution."

And it referred to India’s decision to deploy
more troops and fighter jets to the area after
recording 270 border violations and nearly 2,300
cases of 'aggressive border patrolling' by Chinese soldiers".

On a more general note, the report warns that
China is pursuing a major military build up in a
"secretive manner" developing survivable nuclear
delivery system, a 1,500 km range anti-ship
missile to hit aircraft carriers and has the most
active land based ballistic and cruise missile
programme in the world. It says Beijing’s moves
to acquire 'capabilities' to strike from a
distance, “increases the potential of
misunderstanding" and military conflict with other nations.

And in worrying new assessment, the Pentagon says
Beijing had developed missiles capable of
striking targets in space and is also expanding
its fleet of conventional and nuclear submarines
to give it forces global reach.

The report says China had still limited ability
to sustain military power at a distance but are fast catching up with the USA.

Listing numerous other areas in which China's
military is on the march, the report says China
is pouring money into "electronic warfare and
computer network attack capabilities, advanced
fighter aircraft, and counter-space systems."

China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 17
accused the US of once again overlooking its
peaceful defense policy and ever increasing
military openness. It also alleged that the
report, "as usual, interferes with the internal
affairs of China by making willful comments on
the situation across the Taiwan Straits."
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