WASHINGTON — China deployed new ballistic missiles last year capable of delivering nuclear warheads to ground targets in the Western Pacific, the Pentagon has said.
The intermediate-range Dongfeng-26 (DF-26) rockets could likewise be utilized for customary strikes against boats in the district, the Department of Defense said in its yearly investigate China’s military. The sending has been expected since at any rate September, when the rockets were shown amid a military parade facilitated by President Xi Jinping.
The weapons represent China’s latest strategic advancement after two decades of budget increases that has turned it into the world’s second-largest military spender. The modernisation drive, which has focused on expanding China’s aerial and naval reach, is challenging more than 70 years of American military dominance in the Western Pacific.
In 2016, Mr Xi also began a sweeping structural overhaul of the military that saw the elevation of China’s rocket force to a branch equal with the army, navy, and air force. The DF-26 joins an arsenal that includes the DF-21 “carrier killer” missile.
The Pentagon report affirmed that China’s Jin-class submarines are currently furnished with the JL-2 ballistic rocket, boosting its ocean based atomic discouragement. The Pentagon has been foreseeing since no less than 2014 that China would do watches of the submarines with the rockets on board.
The Pentagon report likewise noticed a few security advancements in regards to China, incorporating cooling relations with Taiwan, ramble deals to Pakistan, the development of an army installation in Djibouti in Africa, and the proceeded with utilization of “low-power intimidation” strategies in the questioned South China Sea.
The report comes days after US Defense Secretary James Mattis went to a security gathering in Singapore and cautioned China against activities that “encroach on the interests of the universal group, undermining the principles based request that has profited all nations”.
Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo, a member of China’s delegation, said during the event that “China wants to use diplomatic and peaceful means, but not military force” to settle differences. Beijing has opposed the deployment of a US missile shield in South Korea to defend against attacks from North Korea, in part because it says it could be used to counter China’s capabilities.