27 July 2011

China SignPost™ (洞察中国) #14 Cited in Craig Guthrie, Asia Times, “US in ‘Denial’ over China’s Pacific Strategy”

Craig Guthrie, US in ‘Denial’ over China’s Pacific Strategy,” Asia Times, 28 July 2011.

HUA HIN, Thailand – Reports that China is close to achieving the same spy satellite capabilities as the United States and making advances in its drone and missile technologies are feeding into US theories that Beijing is pursuing a multi-faceted strategy to reshape the dynamics of military power in Asia. …

In July, reports surfaced that advances in China’s spy orbiter program in the past 18 months enable it to spy on the same moving target – such as a US aircraft carrier – for up to six hours a day. In the same month, China launched an advanced new communications drone and there were revelations over its anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) program. …

Taken together, the recent satellite, drone and missile advances are critical in China’s Pacific access denial strategy, says Gabe Collins, co-founder of China SignPost.com.

“China’s work on overhead ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] assets is very important, as they will help the PLA with over-the-horizon targeting and weapons guidance. Our work to date has focused most specifically on the DF-21D that recently reached initial operational capability. In our December 2010 report on ASBM development, we note China’s rapid buildup of a reconnaissance satellite constellation, with at least 12 Yaogan advanced electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing satellites launched in the last 4 years.” …

For the China SignPost™ study mentioned here, see Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, China Deploys World’s First Long-Range, Land-Based ‘Carrier Killer’: DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Reaches ‘Initial Operational Capability’ (IOC),” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 14 (26 December 2010).

For recent analysis from Taipei, see Taiwan 2011 National Defense Report: DF-21D ASBMs ‘have been produced and deployed in small numbers in 2010’.”

For the latest analysis of official Chinese statements, see “General Chen Bingde, PLA Chief of General Staff, Becomes First Chinese Official to Confirm Publicly that “2,700 km-Range” DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) is in Development; “Not Operational Yet” by PLA Definition.”

For the latest analysis and sources on Chinese ASBM development, see “China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Reaches Equivalent of ‘Initial Operational Capability’ (IOC)—Where It’s Going and What it Means.”

Detailed analysis by top subject matter experts of Chinese ASBM development and strategic implications is offered in five dedicated chapters in Andrew S. Erickson and Lyle J. Goldstein, eds., Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011).

For an explanation of Chinese ASBM development and its larger implications, see the China Maritime Studies Institute Lecture of Opportunity, Chinese Sources Discuss the ASBM Threat to the U.S. Navy,” that I presented at the Naval War College on 21 March 2011.

For further background on Chinese ASBM development, see also “China Testing Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM); U.S. Preparing Accordingly–Updated With Latest Analysis & Sources.”