China tests new long-range missile

China has test fired a new variant of its 10,000 km range missile, sharpening its nuclear deterrent in the wake of the ‘Pivot to Asia’ doctrine of the United States, which aims to bolter force levels around China’s periphery.

The long range missile, Dongfeng-31B was launched on September 25, ahead of China’s national day, reports the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post , citing U.S media reports.

China has already tested Dongfeng-31A, which also has a 10,000 km reach, capable of targeting Europe and the West Coast of the United States.

But the latest version may carry additional nuclear punch because it may be capable of mounting multiple warheads, unlike its earlier variant which can strike with only three warheads.

Chinese state media had earlier reported that Beijing was also working on the Dongfeng-41 system, which would have a 12,000 km range, capable of targeting all parts of the U.S. The daily from Hong Kong quoted Xu Guangyu, a Beijing-based retired PLA Major-General as saying that, “China needs to conduct intensive weapons tests and military drills because [the U.S.-led build-up] now in the Asia-Pacific area is not good for Beijing.”

U.S. pivot to Asia He added that the 60 per cent of the U.S. military force would be deployed in Asia by 2020. The U.S pivot to Asia, also called President Barack Obama’s ‘rebalancing’ strategy envisages Washington’s deeper military engagement with its allies in the Asia-Pacific — Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines.

The core of the China-centric ‘rebalancing’ doctrine would unfold in Japan, where 40,000 U.S. troops would be positioned and 28,500 in South Korea. A U.S. Congressional Research Service report had earlier stated that Washington would post 2,500 troops in Darwin, Australia, and discussions were under way to allow U.S. Navy greater access in Perth.

The Americans are also working on the economic side of the ‘rebalancing’ doctrine, by forging the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a free trade arrangement, which excludes China but includes Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 4:41:35 am |