Sunday, January 31, 2010

China's Anti-Missile Defense Program -- An Analysis and Commentary

China's latest missiles on show last October. China says it has successfully tested missile interceptor technology. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Alarming, Puzzling, Missile Test -- David Axe, The Diplomat Magazine

On January 11, a large missile streaked upward from a test site in China. The missile rocketed beyond the atmosphere and struck another similar missile launched from a separate site. Later that day, the official Xinhua news agency announced a ‘test on ground-based midcourse missile interception technology.’

‘The test has achieved the expected objective,’ Xinhua proclaimed. ‘The test is defensive in nature and is not targeted at any country.’

Read more ....

My Comment: David Axe brings up a number of points that I have been thinking about for a long time .... what are China's long term strategic interests and goals.

Probably the answer to that question was given to me when I first visited (and lived) in China in 1988. I was part of a joint Canadian-Chinese consortium of businessmen who were looking to developing investment and trade. But since all of our Chinese partners were also the political leadership of their provinces/federal government, I was privy to a lot of interesting discussions on China's long term goals.

In a nutshell .... this is what was told to me. China's 22nd century goal is to have a population of 600 million people who all have the same benefits of technology, business/economy, infrastructure, education, legal/political structure, and a military capability that we take for granted in Japan or in the West.

If we assume that this is the long term strategic goal, this Chinese missile test then makes perfect sense. It is not what this technology can do now that should impress us .... it is what continuous development and research in this technology will bring 25, 50, or 100 years from now that should concern us.

If there is one thing that I have learned from my Chinese, Korean, and Japanese friends .... it is that whenever Asia focused on short term gains and goals, failure and tragedy was always the result. But when the focused was on long term goals and objectives, Asia always succeeded and persevered.

Trust me on this .... Asian countries like China are looking at the world from a 25 to 100 year time span.

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