Feeds

Pentagon: China threatens space and cyberspace

Commies get nukes, sat-kill lasers, 'electromagnetic dominance' virus units

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A Pentagon report into Chinese military capability says that the People's Republic "is expanding from the traditional land, air, and sea dimensions of the modern battlefield to include space and cyber-space."

The "ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS: Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2007," was released by the Office of the Secretary of Defense on Friday, though elements of it had been leaked earlier.

In it, the US military warns that the Chinese communists are developing new nuclear weapons, spy satellites, anti-spacecraft laser beams and "information warfare units to develop viruses."

The Pentagon analysts suggest that China is seeking to update its relatively small, old-fashioned nuclear arsenal. Beijing at present has just 20 proper ICBMs able to hit targets worldwide, and eighty or ninety other missiles which would only be useful for nuking things in its own backyard. The ICBMs are in traditional, fixed land silos - vulnerable to a stealthy pre-emptive strike. (China does have a single, elderly nuclear-missile submarine, but this isn't seen even by the most hawkish as a serious threat.)

Twenty fixed ICBMs is a bare-minimum deterrent force, putting China very much at the bottom of the major-power nuclear league table behind France and even the UK. The USA might, in the near future, be able to largely disregard such an arsenal. The US missile defence effort, combined perhaps with a pre-emptive American strike, might offer a scenario in which the chance of any Chinese nuke reaching the US mainland was low.

Unsurprisingly, the PRC is moving to upgrade its nuke armoury, in particular by acquiring new ICBM-firing submarines. Once these are in place, China can feel sure once more of its ability to nuke the continental US.

That doesn't mean that the Chinese will do so; indeed the PRC has declared that it will never be the first to use nukes, a stance which the US itself doesn't always take.

But the Pentagon says that "China’s assertion of a nuclear 'no first use' policy ... is ambiguous."

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.