- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
- Attack on park in Gaza war kills 10, mostly children
Inside the Ring
Question of the Day
Chinese missile test
China recently conducted a long-range missile flight test that remains shrouded in secrecy.
The Sept. 25 test highlights what China military specialists say is the growing threat posed by Beijing’s development of long- and short-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and its new missile defense interceptors.
Officials declined to provide details, saying the test data are classified.
China watchers in Asia and the United States were alerted to the test by a Sept. 23 “notice to airmen” issued by the Chinese government. The notice warned aircraft to stay clear of a corridor of airspace stretching from Taiyuan to Korla until Sept. 25.
After Sept. 25, one Chinese-language military-oriented Internet site reported that the test involved an anti-missile interceptor, part of the new ABM program first announced in January, or perhaps a shorter-range system. A second website reported that a long-range missile was tested.
One theory is that the test included the launch of a target missile from Taiyuan and an interceptor missile from Korla, which is known for past work on Chinese anti-missile defenses.
Since the test, an official wall of silence has gone up. There was hope that China would announce the missile firing as it did in January, when a missile defense interceptor test was disclosed in a brief public statement.
The silence may be a sign that the missile test was a failure.
More likely, analysts say, the test showed some new military capability of China’s growing missile forces that the government does not want to advertise, notably the high-technology anti-ship ballistic missile, based on a modified DF-21 medium-range missile.
In August, Navy Adm. Robert Willard, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said the anti-ship ballistic missile “has undergone repeated tests and it is probably very close to being operational.”
The anti-ship ballistic missile has a range of up to 1,200 miles and is designed to attack U.S. aircraft carriers at sea, a difficult targeting problem because of the high speeds of missile warheads that re-enter the atmosphere and then must maneuver to ships with precision guidance.
Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong said he was not aware of the test but stated that if it took place, China's military “poses no threat to any other countries, and serves for peace and stability in the region and in the world at large.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
TWT Video Picks
By Scott Pinsker
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- D.C. police chief orders officers not to arrest legal gun owners carrying weapons in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq