By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday
China has been staging its armed demonstrations recently, which seems to be aimed at suppressing rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, China is unveiling some of its weapon system to the press, unlike the past. The move seems to intended to send a warning to both North Korea and the United States, who are directly involved in the tensions on the peninsula.
In fact, China has unveiled Dongfeng-11AZT (DF-11AZT), an improved version of Dongfeng-11 (DF-11) short-range ballistic missiles. According to a Beijing source familiar with the news of the Chinese military, Dongfeng-11AZT was revealed for the first time through the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday. It's a new tactical ballistic missile that has never been disclosed and it has been developed in response to the demand for modern warfare.
According to the source, the technology adopted in the Dongfeng-11AZT is even higher than Dongfeng-11’s. Most of all, it is known to have a range of 600 km, more than double the previous Dongfeng-11. Its warhead weighs 500 kg, but it can be launched within five minutes. Besides, it’s very accurate with a margin error around 200 meters and can be launched on an amphibian track using solid fuel.
This is not the first time that China has boasted its weapon systems publicly. At the beginning of February, when the tensions on the Korean Peninsula were escalating due to the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, China unveiled its Dongfeng-16 in a drill. Besides, a launching ceremony of Shandong, China’s first home-built aircraft carrier, is scheduled on Sunday. Also, it intentionally leaked news of its plan to build a nuclear aircraft carrier.
Considering all these, we could say that China is determined to stage armed demonstrations. Mr. Q, a former non-commissioned officer in the People’s Liberation Army, said, “The Korean Peninsula is like an eastern gate of China. If things get into trouble, there will be a major setback in the country’s plan to join the ranks of the developed countries by 2025. Therefore, China won’t allow any chaos, such as local war. The Chinese military has every reason to do so.” It seems that China will continue its efforts to reduce tension on the peninsula by unveiling its weapon systems.