FPI / October 24, 2019
China’s massive display of firepower at the Oct. 1 military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party was in part showing off its “war plan” for the CCP’s centennial in 2049, an analyst said.
By the 100th year of the CCP’s founding, Beijing hopes to have realized the military annexation of Taiwan while preventing intervention by the United States, Nikkei Asian Review senior staff writer Tetsuro Kosaka wrote.
The array of new weaponry showcased on Oct. 1 included the DF-17 medium-range ballistic missile which can approach a target while gliding at low altitude outside the coverage of enemy radar.
“This raises the possibility that even the American military’s missile defense system cannot intercept it,” Kosaka noted.
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The parade also showed off the DF-26, a medium-range ballistic missile that has been dubbed “the Guam killer,” given its estimated range of 3,000 km to 4,000 km, far enough to destroy U.S. military bases in Guam in a pre-emptive strike.
The Guam bases, including Andersen Air Force Base, are a major stronghold of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, formerly known as the U.S. Pacific Command.
“If China takes the plunge and tries to annex Taiwan by force in the future, the DF-17 and DF-26 can be regarded as crucial in efforts to obstruct or prevent U.S. military intervention, which would be the biggest hurdle,” Kosaka wrote.
Other weapons, fighter jets and early warning and control aircraft and tanker aircraft that support them were also displayed in the Oct. 1 parade.
The Chinese air force’s fighter jets are regarded as inferior to their U.S. counterparts in terms of engine and stealth performance. But China apparently intends to make up for its qualitative disadvantage by boosting the number of jets deployed.