- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
Inside the Ring: China military on the rails
China’s high-speed rail lines are becoming a major transport force for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), allowing the rapid movement of military forces throughout the country, a recent state-run news report revealed.
Since few nations are likely to invade China, the recent discussion in a Communist Party news outlet about military uses of the new rail network is raising questions about the PLA’s future role in quelling domestic unrest.
The China Youth Daily outlined the military benefits of China’s six high-speed rail lines in the report.
“While bringing convenience to the lives of the masses, high-speed rail also plays a military role that is growing more prominent by the day,” the Jan. 14 article states, noting that a lightly equipped division could be moved on the Wuhan-to-Guangzhou line — about 600 miles — in five hours, a fairly rapid mobilization in military terms.
“And the Second Artillery [missile forces] could use the high-speed rail network to quickly deploy short-range missiles in a certain strategic direction” — presumably from inland locations to coastal regions near Taiwan or Japan, the report said.
Other key rail lines include the Xian-Baoji and Xiamen-Shenzhen connections that are part of the network that has made China a world leader in high-speed rail.
Since 2009, the PLA has been using high-speed trains to move troops in exercises. In July 2011, the military conducted a rapid troop transfer using the Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed line.
The report said China eventually will set up a high-speed network of eight lines extending in all directions.
A typical military train includes 16 high-speed rail cars that carry 1,100 lightly armed soldiers.
“With the daily improvement in China’s high-speed rail network, transferring a 100,000 person army 1,000 li [310 miles] might be possible within half a day in the future,” the report said, adding that the military will use high-speed rail to project “mobile combat forces in various strategic directions.”
Among the problems in relying on rail instead of air transport for military forces is that trains require stable lines that are difficult to conceal and protect with air defenses.
“It is even harder to conceal important nodal targets such as numerous bridges, tunnels, and stations,” the report said. “Even if the enemy did not employ long-range precision strike weapons, but simply sent personnel to damage key numbers of power facilities, it would be enough to paralyze electrified high-speed railways.”
For missiles, the report said “the use of high-speed trains as mobile launch platforms for strategic weapons is also a good idea.”
China is planning rail-mobile ICBMs on a separate system that is not built for high-speed travel but for heavy transport.
“Train transport affords better stability than road maneuvering,” the report said. “The speed with which vehicles change direction is less than in road maneuvering and is suited to testing work during maneuvering to reduce the time required to prepare for firing. In addition, it is possible to maneuver and shift more than a thousand kilometers at once, making it easier to escape enemy tracking.”
© 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.
- Inside the Ring: U.S. power grid defenseless from attacks
- Inside the Ring: Hagel releases cyber warfare plans to China
- Inside the Ring: North Korea missile test coming
- Inside the Ring: U.S. fears Russia planning to federalize Ukraine, alarming Congress
- Inside the Ring: Pentagon goes hypersonic with long-range rapid attack weapon
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Washington Redskins' 2014 schedule opens with Texans
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014