China developing carrier-destroying missile

08:21, August 13, 2010      

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As the US aircraft carrier USS George Washington sailed through the waters of the South China Sea, foreign media floated the possibility that China is speeding up construction of its aircraft carrier and anti-aircraft carrier missile bases.

According to AP, China is developing a carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D. The anti-carrier missile could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 km.

It said the US' virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high seas, but China may soon put an end to that.

And in an article headlined "Chinese ready to kill US Navy carriers?" the US-based website said China has built, tested and is on schedule to deploy a missile next year that is designed to destroy a US carrier.

The Ministry of National Defence of China did not confirm the report.

The US Navy deploys 11 supercarrier battleships around the globe. Each modern US nuclear aircraft carrier, with two reactors, can carry more than 6,000 service personnel and more than 80 aircraft. They are nearly 335 meters long but fast and maneuverable.

US defense analysts acknowledge that the Dong Feng 21D, could be a game-changer, AP reported.

Experts said US aircraft carriers are long-term and real threats to China's national security.

Su Hao, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Region at China Foreign Affairs University, told China Daily that US aircraft carriers frequently approach China's territorial waters as a display of its sea power.

The US has now expanded its aircraft carriers' influence to China's Yellow Sea and South China Sea, Su noted.

"Aircraft carriers have already become an important strategic platform for US military intervention," Su said.

Su added that China wants to build aircraft carriers and anti-aircraft carrier missile bases to safeguard its national security.

On Sunday, the US aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which recently took part in military exercises with South Korea, hosted a Vietnamese military delegation in the South China Sea off the Vietnamese port of Danang.

Zhai Dequan, deputy secretary general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said that as China's economy develops, it is also necessary for China to develop its national defense.

Zhai pointed out that such actions are not directed at any country or bloc of countries.
Wang Haishan contributed to this story.

By Zhang Chunyan, China Daily


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