China Adds to Missiles near Taiwan

By Gertz, Bill | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

China Adds to Missiles near Taiwan


Gertz, Bill, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Bill Gertz

China has stepped up deployments of short-range missiles opposite Taiwan and now has more than 350 rockets within range of the island, The Washington Times has learned.

New missile deployments were discovered by U.S. intelligence agencies at Yongan, in Fujian province, and at Jiangshan - an existing base disclosed for the first time as a missile site, said U.S. intelligence and military officials.

China added more than 30 new CSS-6 and CSS-7 missiles within range of Taiwan in a buildup that U.S. officials say is increasing tensions and destabilizing the region. "They are on track with adding 50 new missiles a year," said a senior Pentagon official.

Asked about the missile buildup, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in an interview yesterday that the missile buildup is destabilizing.

"They have been doing that steadily for a number of years now," Mr. Wolfowitz said.

The missile deployments contradict China's commitment to a 1982 communique with the United States that said Beijing's fundamental policy is a "peaceful resolution" of its differences with Taiwan.

"And I don't see that building up your missiles is part of a fundamental policy of peaceful resolution," Mr. Wolfowitz said. Any attempt by China to intimidate Taiwan will not work because the United States is firmly resolved to prevent the forcible reunification of the island with the mainland, Mr. Wolfowitz said.

The latest deployments put the total number of short-range missiles within range of Taiwan at around 350, an increase of 50 missiles since the spring.

A senior White House official who briefed reporters on the administration's proposed arms sales to Taiwan said in April that there were 300 short-range missiles opposite Taiwan. China's military will deploy a total of around 600 missiles by 2005, the senior official said.

According to the intelligence officials, some of the new missiles were identified as CSS-6 Mod 2s - a longer-range version of a missile also known as the M-9. The other new missiles were identified as CSS-7s, also known as M-11s.

Both missiles have a maximum range of around 372 miles, according to the officials.

"All the new deployments are within range of Taiwan," said one official.

The new missiles were identified by launch pads that were recently constructed and identified by U.S. spy satellites last month near the towns of Jiangshan and Yongan.

Yongan was the base used by Chinese military forces to fire test missiles north and south of Taiwan during what became known as the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis. The United States responded by dispatching two aircraft carrier battle groups to the region.

Jiangshan was identified for the first time as a short-range missile base although officials said it was not a new base. …

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