China: August 16, 2000


China has sent a military delegation to Bangladesh, whose neighbor has long been an ally of Russia. While China is currently doing a lot of business with Russia, there are still Chinese land claims in northeast Asia. Meanwhile, China is increasing it stock of M class missiles. These are the weapons most likely to be used in a war with Taiwan. The M-9 has a range of 600 kilometers, the M-11 480 kilometers. Currently, China has 300-400 M class missiles, and is likely to have 650 of these missiles by 2005. Taiwan currently has Patriot missiles that might be able to shoot down half the M class missiles fired at them. Even if China got a few hundred M class missiles on target, the damage would not be devastating. The M-9 carries an 1100 pound warhead, the M-11a 1,760 pound warhead. China would likely use conventional explosives in these warheads. They could do damage, but no more than aircraft bombs. Indeed, the missiles are less accurate than most aircraft bombing systems. But while Taiwan stands a good chance of stopping nearly all Chinese bombers, at least half of  the missiles are  likely to get through.


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