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Friday, November 23, 2007

U.S. report finds U.S. intel consistently wrong on China buildup

A congressional commission on China reported last week that U.S. intelligence agencies have failed to properly assess Beijing's military buildup and capabilities and were taken by surprise on key developments, including new submarines built in secret.

A potentially accurate Chinese artist's projection of the new Type 093 and Type 094 SSBN from the PRC magazine Modern Ships.
“The pace and success of China’s military modernization continue to exceed U.S. government estimates,” stated the annual report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

“Indeed, on occasion the U.S. defense and intelligence communities have been taken by surprise, as in the case of the launching of the Jin class submarine by the navy of the People’s Liberation Army.”

Also In This Edition

The criticism was a slap at pro-China U.S. intelligence officials, including Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence for analysis, National Intelligence Officer for East Asia Lonnie Henley, a protégé of convicted China spy Ronald Montaperto, and Dennis Wilder, a CIA official who is now the National Security Council staff senior director for Asia.

“Several Chinese advances have surprised U.S. defense and intelligence officials, and raised questions about the quality of our assessments of China’s military capabilities,” the commission report said.

“China’s defense industry is producing new generations of weapons platforms with impressive speed and quality, and these advancements are due in part to the highly effective manner in which Chinese defense companies are integrating commercial technologies into military systems,” the report said.

China also could launch up to 10 new Shang-class nuclear attack submarines by next year.

The Jin submarine, also known as the Type 094, is a new class of ballistic missile submarine. It was first photographed in the water in late 2006 moored in Xiaopingdao Submarine Base.

The submarine is believed to be equipped with 12 advanced JL-2 SLBMs with a range of about 8,000 kilometers.

“Industrial espionage provides Chinese companies an added source of new technology without the necessity of investing time or money to perform research.”

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