China rattles arms at US Asia presence


Posted online: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 1122 hours IST

Washington, May 4: China is expected to deploy three new strategic missiles over the next decade as part of an aggressive military build-up seen threatening US forces in the region, a US intelligence official said on Tuesday.

David Gordon, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, told a commission charged with overseeing the consolidation of US military bases that the arrival of new, more capable missiles coincided with China's growing influence on the balance of power in the Taiwan Straits.

"Strategic force modernisation is a continuing priority, and China will likely field three new strategic missiles -- more mobile, survivable and capable -- within a decade," Gordon said at a hearing of the Defence Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

He added, "Beijing has undertaken an impressive program of military modernisation that is tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Straits and improving China's capabilities to threaten US forces in the region."