During the country’s National Day celebrations on October 1, China put some weird weapons on display to demonstrate that it is a world power. Among these is the DF-17 hypersonic boost-glide missile (HGV), which military experts said can prevent the United States from intervening in any war that could break out between China and Taiwan over the South China Sea.
Experts said the new DF-17 could prevent US aircraft carriers from entering the Taiwan Strait, where they could interfere in any military action between China and Taiwan. Weapon analysts said the DF-17 is an improvement on the DF-15 and DF-16 ballistic missiles earlier developed to contain Taiwan in case of any separatist attempts. Taiwan is led by President Chen Shui-bian, the first Taiwanese president after the country became autonomous following a 55 years KMT rule.
The KMT equally ruled China until they lost their stronghold to the communist party during the Chinese Civil War. The KMT then moved out of China and relocated to Taiwan and set up a government named after China and called the Republic of China (ROC), while mainland China is called the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) established the PRC and would not recognize ROC headquartered in Taipei in Taiwan.
PRC said any attempts by Taiwan to declare independence and go by the name ROC would spell trouble and possible war between the China and Taiwan. Besides, China’s foremost care would be to ensure that countries such as the US do not intervene in the war to help Taiwan. The DF-17 is one of the offensive weapons that the PRC may likely deploy in the war.
“All the DF-15, DF-16, and DF-17s could build a comprehensive strike network covering everywhere from Taiwan island to the neighboring countries around mainland China, especially the US’s overseas military bases in the region,” military expert Song Zhongpin said. “The superiority of the DF-17 is its hypersonic warhead which could penetrate missile defense networks, radar, and early-warning systems, and hit some difficult targets that the DF-15 and DF-16 might be unable to do.”
The Obama administration and even Donald Trump had approved the sales of arms to Taiwan in recognition of ROC, a situation the PRC does not like, creating tensions between China and the US. However, how the US will respond to the threat of the DF-17 remains a matter of speculation among defense analysts.
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