China on Missiles and Missile Defense: Do as We Say, Not as We Do?

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
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From Inside the Ring on a recent Chinese missile test:

(A) Sept. 25 test highlights what China military specialists say is the growing threat posed by Beijing’s development of long- and short-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and its new missile defense interceptors.

A U.S. official confirmed that China’s military fired a missile from the Taiyuan missile center, about 320 miles southwest of Beijing, to Korla, a city in western China some 1,800 miles away.

So what’s it all mean?  It could mean the missile test was a failure, which China attempts to stage-manage very closely.  It could mean it was a success that China sees no benefit in acknowledging.  It could mean the test was partly successful, such as a successful missile test but another aspect of the test (for example, a missile defense element) might have failed.

Or, as lex parsimoniae would suggest, it might mean no one has been authorized to speak on the subject.  Remember the non-brilliant diplomatic, media, and communications response by China to their ASAT demonstration in early 2007?

Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong said he was not aware of the test but stated that if it took place, China’s military “poses no threat to any other countries, and serves for peace and stability in the region and in the world at large.”

Hmmm.  If Mr. Wang had said China was for freedom, open democracy, and honoring international laws and norms, I’d find his statement easier to believe.

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