China: US intelligence agencies have confirmed that China is developing a new nuclear missile designed to keep US forces from intervening in any Asian conflict. “While these missiles may not be directly aimed at Taiwan, they will be aimed at American forces in the Western Pacific that could be tasked to come to Taiwan’s aid in the event of an attack or an invasion from China. The intermediate range missile should be of deep concern to Taiwan,” said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center. The Dongfeng-26C (DF-26C) missile has a range of at least 3,540km and could reach a major US base in Guam, where thousands of US Marines are being moved as part of Washington’s pivot toward Asia.
“When America’s ability to deter China is diminished by new Chinese weapons, that also brings closer the day when Japan, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam and even Taiwan are forced to decide whether to build their own, more powerful deterrent. For some this may mean deciding to build nuclear weapons. For others, non-nuclear systems like ballistic and cruise missiles may do. The people of China will have many more weapons aimed at them,” added Fisher. “China’s progressively more potent naval platforms, aircraft and missiles are capable of holding US Navy platforms and their supporting assets at risk in the near seas and their approaches,” said Andrew Erickson, an associate professor in the college’s strategic research department.
Source: Taipei times