China to further enhance anti-missile capabilities
The upgrades to the ground-to-air forces in China would be a solid step toward increasing national security, Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said. "Through innovation, ground-to-air defence troops are able to deal with far-range, medium-range and short-range missiles, which can come in on high,
medium and low altitudes," the official media quoted him as saying.
"The capability of China's air defence and anti-missile systems has greatly improved in the information age we live in. Our ground-to-air forces are now a powerful force to safeguard China's airspace sovereignty," he said.
The upgrade plans come in the backdrop of the US and South Korea's move to deploy the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea to counter missile strikes from North Korea.
China has strongly opposed the move, saying that the system not only poses a threat to the stability of the Korean peninsula, but to China as well, as its radar systems will be able to penetrate into the Chinese territory.
Earlier this month, Chinese aero space officials said the country’s next-generation cruise missiles would be developed on a modular design, allowing them to be tailor-made for specific combat situations with high level of artificial intelligence.
"We plan to adopt a 'plug and play' approach in the development of new cruise missiles, which will enable our military commanders to tailor-make missiles in accordance with combat conditions and their specific requirements", Wang Changqing, director of the General Design Department of the Third Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp said.
"Moreover, our future cruise missiles will have a high level of artificial intelligence and automation. They will allow commanders to control them in real time, or to use a fire-and-forget mode, or even to add more tasks to in-flight missiles," he added.
China had last year for the first time displayed its Dongfeng-21D missile, the anti-ship ballistic missile described as the "carrier killer", which caused concern among the US defence officials as it could it could blow up aircraft carriers from a distance of 1,500- 1,700 km. Dongfeng-21D, along with long and short-range missiles, were displayed at the country’s biggest military parade last year here held to mark the 70th anniversary of victory against Japan in World War-II.
China urges restraint on N Korea’s missile launch
China on Monday called on all parties concerned to maintain restraint and remain calm over the ballistic missile launch by North Korea last week. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a statement issued by the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday, condemning the launch as a “grave violation” of Pyongyang’s international obligations under Security Council resolutions, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We hope all parties can refrain from doing things that may irritate others or escalate the tensions,” she said, adding that the signal sent by the UNSC “needs to be comprehensive and balanced”. The Security Council has adopted five resolutions – 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016) – to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, in which the latest one, adopted in March, imposes the most severe sanctions yet on the country, including an export ban and asset freeze.
Project with Pak not aimed at third country: China
Asserting that its ambitious $46 billion economic corridor is not targeted at a third country, China on Monday said it will work with Pakistan to ensure "smooth running" of the strategic project.
"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a new cooperation framework set up by the two countries for the development of bilateral cooperation across the board. It is not targeted at any third country," said Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
Skirting the question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on Balochistan's troubled human rights situation, Chunying declined to comment on one of China's prominent official think-tanks warning that China and Pakistan will initiate "joint steps" if any "Indian factor" is found to disrupt the CPEC. "I don't want to comment on remarks of some scholars," she said.
She also skirted response to questions about India and the USA expressing concerns over the human rights violations in Balochistan, the troubled Pakistani province through which the economic corridor would pass connecting China's Muslim-majority Xinjiang province to Gwadar port. But at the same time she said that China would work with Pakistan for smooth running of the economic corridor project.