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China responded to the latest U.S. Navy freedom of navigation patrol in the South China Sea by declaring it would “take necessary actions to protect state sovereignty” and touting its deployment of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles as a step toward doing so. Chinese state media pointedly described the missiles as “ship-killers.”
China’s state-run Global Times reported the deployment of Dong Feng-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles to northwestern China on Tuesday, advertising the weapons as a “new generation of intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of targeting medium and large ships at sea.”
Launchers - Interior - Country - Missiles - Launch
The launchers are supposedly parked in the interior of the country to make the missiles more difficult to intercept, but the launch platforms are mobile and could be quickly moved to any desired firing position.
This week’s deployment is the first time the public has seen the new missile outside of a parade. It could be one of the most dangerous weapons in the People’s Liberation Army arsenal if it performs as advertised. The DF-26 missile is ostensibly capable of sinking aircraft carriers and striking targets across the South China Sea if the launchers are moved to optimum positions. One of the nicknames given to the DF-26 is “Guam Killer” because it can target the vital U.S. airbase on that island.
Global - Times - DF-26 - Deployment - Threat
The Global Times eagerly presented the DF-26 deployment as a threat to U.S. freedom of navigation patrols:
The timing of the report sparked discussions among Chinese military observers online, as it came after the USS McCampbell, a US guided missile destroyer, trespassed into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands on Monday without permission from the Chinese government.
China - Aircraft - Warships - US - Vessel
China dispatched aircraft and warships to warn the US vessel and has...
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