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Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn revealed last month that China has deployed its new mobile DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee in prepared remarks that the unique aircraft carrier-killing ballistic missile is now fielded opposite Taiwan among 1,200 ballistic missiles aimed at the U.S. ally.

Describing China’s nuclear forces, Gen. Flynn said the Chinese military is “augmenting the over 1,200 conventional short-range ballistic missiles deployed opposite Taiwan with a limited, but growing number, of conventionally armed, medium-range ballistic missiles, including the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile.”

It was the first time a senior official confirmed that the missile is deployed.

China’s Gen. Chen Bingde said in July 2011 that the DF-21D was “still in the research stage.”

The DF-21D is part of what the Pentagon calls the Chinese military’s anti-access and area-denial weapons, along with anti-satellite missiles and lasers, submarines and missile defenses.

The weapons prompted the new military concept called Air Sea Battle that seeks to better coordinate Navy and Air Force systems in Asia to deter and, if needed, defeat China in a future conflict.