Chinese Long-Range Ballistic Missiles Struck Moving Ship In South China Sea: Report

November 17, 2020

The Drive:


At least some of the ballistic missiles that China’s People’s Liberation Army fired into the South China Sea during an exercise earlier this year, which you can read about more in the War Zone‘s initial story on those drills, reportedly hit a moving target ship. If true, this would be the country’s first known demonstration of an actual long-range anti-ship ballistic missile capability, which could significantly change the operational calculus for any potential opponent, including the United States, in the disputed maritime region and elsewhere in the Pacific.

The South China Morning Post reported last week that Wang Xiangsui, a retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer, had said that one DF-26B intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) and one DF-21D medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) had struck the target vessel as it sailed near the Paracel Island chain during the August exercise. Wang, who has been described as “well-connected” in the past, is best known as one of the co-authors of the 1999 book Unrestricted Warfare, which covered various asymmetric means to undermine and defeat countries that were technologically superior to China. It has become a highly influential text, and general concept, in national security circles…


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