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Independence Day

Monday, 30 June 2003 12:00 AM

While the United States celebrates its independence day with fireworks and the rockets' red glare, China will be celebrating a holiday of military might.

China has announced that it will soon test its latest war rocket. The People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Corps is planning to test-fire a series of missiles, starting with its latest ICBM capable of striking the U.S., the new DF-31 mobile missile.

The DF-31 reportedly can carry a single 3-megaton H-bomb or three 90-kiloton nuclear warheads. The missile has an official range of over 4,800 miles.

The critical part of the DF-31 test is the fact that it is being conducted from the Lop Nur missile range, close to the Chinese nuclear weapons development facility. The test at Lop Nur indicates that the PLA missile troops are training with dummy nuclear warheads under live combat conditions, indicating that the missile is being moved from testing to actual deployment in the near future.

The Dong Feng 31, named "East Wind" after a Maoist slogan, reportedly is equipped with U.S. missile and warhead technology that was obtained by China through espionage, and legal and illegal technology transfers from the Clinton administration.

The PLA navy also announced plans to test its newest long-range missile, the Julang (Great Wave) 2, or JL-2.

"From open sources one cannot assess the real range of the JL-2," noted Richard Fisher, a senior fellow and defense analyst at the Jamestown Foundation.

"Most sources note it is the sea-borne counterpart to the DF-31, which is credited with a 8,000km (4,800mi) range. However, there is some unconfirmable reporting that the JL-2 may have longer range."

U.S. Navy sources expressed concern that a JL-2-armed submarine could sail to within a few hundred miles of the U.S. western coast. Such a move would place West Coast cities at "point blank" range, enabling the Chinese submarine to shower Los Angeles or San Francisco with nuclear warheads. The move would also place most – if not all – U.S. cities within range of the H-bomb-equipped missile.

"It is likely that the goal for the JL-2 is to be able to reach the Western U.S. from the Yellow Sea, an area that the PLA can defend with near current ship and aircraft resources. But of course, if the Type 094 SSBN is able to reach launch points outside this area, the JL-2's reach will increase," stated Fisher.

"India also fears this new SLBM as it expects that the PLA will produce enough Type 094 SSBNs to pose a credible second strike presence in the Indian Ocean," noted Fisher.

The Chinese army also announced a new series of tests from the northern Wuzhai launch site, to include the current DF-21 missile. The DF-21 has a range of 1,200 miles and reportedly carries a single 300-kiloton H-bomb.

Unlike the DF-31, the DF-21 is currently an active part of the PLA Second Artillery Corps arsenal. The tests are thought to be a new variant of the DF-21 equipped with an active radar imaging guidance system. The new guidance system may give the DF-21 an accuracy of less than 30 feet.

The PLA Air Force (PLAAF), not to be outdone by its rocket-firing counterparts in the Chinese army, has also unveiled its latest military creation, the FC-1 light fighter.

The FC-1 is being developed by CAC-1, formerly Chengdu Aircraft Corp., with partial funding by Pakistan. The FC-1 draws its design lineage from the Super-7 fighter program, a cooperative development between Chengdu and then Grumman Corp. The agreement was signed in 1988, but fell apart after Beijing's violent reaction to the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989.

However, the FC-1 incorporates many features from the U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon design. The F-16 features appeared during the 1990s after Pakistan transferred a single F-16A fighter to China in exchange for DF-11 missile technology.

Russia also has contributed to the FC-1 project. The FC-1 reportedly incorporated several features of the now-defunct MiG-33 lightweight fighter project rejected by the Russian air force. The Russian MiG design bureau dedicated several teams of engineers to the Chinese fighter after the fall of the Soviet Union. A single modified MiG-29 engine, the Klimov RD-33, dubbed the RD-93, powers the FC-1.

The Pakistani air force eventually could buy up to 150 FC-1s, but this purchase depends on whether the aircraft meets performance expectations.

The aircraft is favored by the Chinese naval aviation arm but has found little support from within the PLAAF itself. The Chinese air force is currently testing another lightweight fighter named the J-10. The PLAAF leadership feels that the FC-1 is a waste of time and a costly duplication of the J-10 effort already under way.

Despite the increased testing of advanced weapons, the Chinese military is also carrying out its political war. Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Cao Gangchuan is slated to visit the U.S. this fall as part of a high-level military exchange.

Gen. Cao is well-known inside Pentagon circles but not as a field commander. Before taking the top Defense ministry post, Cao ran the highly effective techno unit of China's government known as the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND).

From 1996 to 1998, Cao ran COSTIND's effort to exploit, purchase, borrow or steal advanced U.S. military technology. Cao had his job cut out for him due mainly to the overwhelming success of his predecessor. Cao took over COSTIND following the retirement of Gen. Ding Henggao. By 1996, Ding had already purchased his way into several U.S. corporations such as Loral, Hughes and Motorola.

Ding's efforts led to a massive inflow of advanced satellite, rocket, communication, computer and electronic technology authorized by the Clinton administration. Ding even personally participated in the acquisition of an advanced fiber optic communications network for the Chinese army.

Ding's right-hand man and second in command at COSTIND, Gen. Shen, not only managed to acquire Hughes satellites for the Chinese army but also landed his son a job at a classified position inside Hughes. COSTIND also obtained critical nose-cone design software from Hughes that now serves the DF-31, JL-2 and DF-21 missiles well.

Ding retired in 1996 but not without honors. The Central Communist Committee awarded his unit, COSTIND, the lead role in all future Chinese space projects, including manned space flights.

The close relationship between COSTIND and the Clinton administration is clearly illustrated in correspondence obtained by the Freedom of Information Act. In 1995, then Secretary of Defense William Perry wrote Gen. Ding a letter congratulating the Chinese general on "the 46th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China."

"Advancing the military relationship between our two nations remains an objective which we agree serves the long-term interests of peace and stability," noted Perry in his letter to Gen. Ding.

"We are making arrangements for the visit of a delegation of Chinese defense managers to the United States in the near future. This group will be hosted by the Departments of Defense and Commerce, as well as by U.S. industries. At the same time, we are exploring the possibility of providing assistance in facilitating intern programs for defense conversion specialists."

"Let me close by again conveying my respects to your on your National Day and by reiterating my support for our bilateral military relationship," concluded Perry.

As America celebrates its Independence Day, the words of William Perry are a chilling reminder of the new Chinese army weapons pointed at the United States and our allies.

* * * * * *


Charles Smith will be on:

7/1 Tuesday, 8:05 a.m. ET - Langer Broadcasting Network/Cable Radio Network, New Bedford, Mass. - Phil Paleologos, "American Breakfast"

7/3 Thurs, 12:15 p.m. ET - I.E. America, Montpelier, Vt. - Thom Hartmann

7/4, Friday, 11:00 a.m. ET - American Freedom Network, Corona Del Mar, Calif. - James Hirsen

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While the United States celebrates its independence day with fireworks and the rockets' red glare, China will be celebrating a holiday of military might. China has announced that it will soon test its latest war rocket.The People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Corps is...
Monday, 30 June 2003 12:00 AM
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