9/29/2005

China's military buildup shakes up East Asia - Yahoo! News

DALIAN, China - If the
U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet one day sails to Taiwan's defense, China's large fleet of submarines could be lurking with a lethal surprise.
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The submarines, waiting along Taiwan's Pacific coast, could fire a barrage of "Sizzlers," devastating anti-ship weapons that pop out of the water, spot aircraft carriers or escort ships, then drop near the water's surface, accelerating to supersonic speeds for the kill. Little can be done to defend against a "Sizzler" attack.

"You're pretty much a sitting duck," said Larry M. Wortzel, a former U.S. military attache in Beijing who's now an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.

The course of the 21st century will be determined in part by the relationship between China and the United States. In many ways, relations are healthier than ever. But the two nations remain potential adversaries, plotting in war games how to thwart each other. While always cautious of nuclear-armed China, the United States has become even more watchful.

U.S. strategists say the People's Liberation Army has made huge strides in modernization. China now has a submarine fleet that rivals the
Pentagon's in numbers, if not in weaponry. Air bases bristle with new Russian-built fighter jets. At testing sites, military engineers toil over anti-satellite lasers and "bolt-out-of-the-blue" weapons systems.

China's military buildup shakes up East Asia - Yahoo! News

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