06 September 2010

Global Times: “China Needs Powerful” ASBM, Other “Carrier-Destroying Measures”

China Needs Powerful,” Global Times (English edition), 6 September 2010.

 China’s anti-ship ballistic missile (ASB[M]), known as the “carrier killer,” is close to operational, said the commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, in Tokyo recently. While US aircraft carriers appear more active in China’s offshore waters, concern over China’s ASB[M] is rising in the West.

China has never pursued a policy of confrontation with other world powers, including the US. However, it does need a strategic deterrence. In a bid to protect its own strategic interests, China should not only build its anti-ship missile capacity, but also possess a range of other carrier-destroying measures as well.

For quite some time the intelligence agencies in the US and other Western countries have conjectured over China’s anti-ship missile capacity. China ought to convince the international community of its reliable carrier-killing capacity as soon as possible to end the speculation.

Such capacity is necessary for an emerging power, and it is necessary infrastructure for China’s military modernization.

Since US aircraft carrier battle groups in the Pacific constitute deterrence against China’s strategic interests, China has to possess the capacity to counterbalance.

Such capacity could inhibit US thoughts of keeping China in check through aircraft carriers, and therefore greatly reduce the possibility of confrontation between the People’s Liberation Army and US military forces in the Western Pacific.

While developing its anti-ship missile capacity, China should also let Westerners know under what circumstances will such weaponry be used.

China should let the world be well aware that no foreign aircraft carrier is allowed to do whatever it wants to do in China’s waters. China will never abuse its anti-ship missile capacity and launch strikes against foreign carriers without a justified reason.

As long as China develops its strategic strike force, the country will inevitably face pressure outlined in the “China threat” theory.

Nevertheless, China can ignore such remarks, and focus more on fostering new military and strategic mutual trust. China has no intention of changing the balance of power in the Pacific through military means. It is only trying to enhance its national defensive strategy.

An external anxiety over China’s development of its military is somewhat understandable. The greater strategic deterrence China possesses, the more cautious it should be in using force. China should carefully explore how to present its deterrence. This is a new subject for China.

Source Background: Global Times (环球时报, Huanqiu Shibao) is a Chinese newspaper published on weekdays that focuses on international issues and foreign reaction to developments in China. While not itself official, it is sponsored by and produced under the auspices of People’s Daily (人民日报, Renmin Ribao), the official daily newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

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