War with the US under Donald Trump is “not just a slogan” and is becoming "a practical reality” according to a senior Chinese military official.
The remarks were published on the People’s Liberation Army website, apparently in response to the aggressive rhetoric towards China from America's new administration.
They communicated a view from inside the Central Military Commission, which has overall authority of China’s armed forces.
Quoted in the South China Morning Post, the official from the Commission’s Defense Mobilization Department wrote: “A war ‘within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality.”
The official also called for military deployments in the tense South and East China Seas and for a missile defense system to guard the Korean peninsula, another regional hotspot, the Post reported.
The US should also reconsider its strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, the official wrote.
President Trump and members of his administration have consistently voiced a hard line against China. Mr Trump has branded the country a “currency manipulator” and accusing the country of underhand trading and economic tactics.
But more significantly in security terms, Mr Trump has also ignored the US’s longstanding ‘One China’ policy, publicly engaging with the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, in a move that was hugely antagonizing for Beijing.
China strongly regards Taiwan as part of its territory and the US has tacitly respected this for decades, but Mr Trump signaled a departure from this policy.
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also advocated a US naval blockade of artificial Chinese islands in the South China Sea – which Beijing could interpret as an act of war.
Further suggestions China is preparing for conflict emerged this week, with unconfirmed reports the military has moved long range missiles closer to the north east border in Heilongjiang province -- within firing range of the US.
Chinese social media has carried pictures claiming to show the Dongfeng-41 advanced intercontinental ballistic missile system near the Russian border.
Provocative state-run tabloid The Global Times suggested the People’s Liberation Army could have leaked the photos on social media as a warning to Mr Trump.
However, Chinese President Xi Jinping has also recently called for the reduction of nuclear weapons.
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UPDATE: In a statement to RIA Novosti, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called media reports on China’s deployment of ballistic missiles to the Russian border “speculations and crude guesses.”
“Pictures of China's Dongfeng-41 ballistic missile were exposed on Chinese mainland websites,” the Global Times said citing reports in “some Hong Kong and Taiwan media.” Russian news agencies identified one of them as the Apple Daily, a Hong Kong-based tabloid-style resource.
“It was revealed that the pictures were taken in Heilongjiang Province. Military analysts believe that this is perhaps the second Dongfeng-41 strategic missile brigade and it should be deployed in northeastern China,” the report in the Chinese daily adds. The Global Times works under the auspices of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, though the former tends to be more controversial.
There is speculation that China plans to deploy at least three brigades of DF-41s throughout the country. The image leak may have been timed with Trump’s inauguration, with the new president expected to take a confrontational stance towards China, according to the Global Times’ report.
Before taking office he angered Beijing by threatening to end the ‘One China policy’, which acknowledges continental China as the only Chinese nation and rejects Taiwan’s claim to be one. He also said he would pressure Beijing on economic issues like its monetary policy and trade barriers.
China routinely uses demonstration of its military prowess to send signals to challengers like the US. For instance, it tested a railcar-launched version of the DF-41 in December 2016 just as then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited the aircraft carrier ‘USS John C. Stennis’ deployed in the South China Sea.
The alleged deployment of the DF-41 near Russia’s border should not be read as a threat to Russia, military analyst Konstantin Sivkov told RIA Novosti.
“DF-41 missiles placed near Russia’s border are a smaller threat than if they were placed deeper in the Chinese territory. Such missiles usually have a very large ‘dead zone’ [area within minimal range that cannot be attacked by a weapon],” he said, adding that the ICBMs would not be able to target Russia’s Far East and most of Eastern Siberia from the Heilongjiang Province.
The Kremlin agreed with the assessment, saying that China is Russia’s “strategic partner in political and economic senses.”
“Certainly, the actions of the Chinese military, if the reports prove correct, the military build-up in China is not perceived as a threat to our country,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The Pentagon, however, views the deployment of these missiles as a warning to the US. Pentagon analysts who spoke to SuperStation95 on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss this issue publicly, said this move places China's most-deadly nuclear missiles, in perfect position to commence a massive strike upon the entire United States.
Each missile travels at Mach 25 which is 19,000 miles per hour. Each missile carries TEN nuclear warheads which can target separate cities; so one missile launch can destroy TEN different American cities!
China has already moved two entire Brigades to their northeastern-most province. China only maintains six rocket brigades for their whole country, with a total of about 100,000 service members to maintain and operate them.
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The fact that two full brigades have been sent to northeast China, means upwards of 30,000 service members and perhaps twenty of these missiles have been moved. Twenty missiles means 200 warheads . . . destroying 200 American targets!
Pentagon sources say:
"China seems intent on continuing to manufacture man-made islands in the South China Sea, almost 1,000 miles from its border, and militarizing those islands with weapons and air fields. The US has made clear such endeavors could pose a threat to the free movement of $6 Billion worth of trade and shipping routes from Asia, saying China cannot continue on this path. China responded that they will continue on that path, so rhetorically the two sides are set for conflict."
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