China deploys DF-17 hypersonic missile along the coast across Taiwan.
Image Credit: Fan Lingzhi/GT
China has deployed DF-17 hypersonic missiles in South Eastern China, along the coast. The provinces of Fujian and Guangdong received these advanced missile systems, as part of a plan to strengthen coastal forces. Analysts believe that this might be preparation for a future invasion, or to deter American or Japanese forces from involving themselves during the invasion of Taiwan.
The DF-17 hypersonic missiles are gradually replacing the old DF-11s and DF-15s that have been deployed in the South Eastern region for decades. The DF-17 has a ‘ longer range and is able to hit targets more accurately.’ It has a range of 2,500km, and Taiwan is afraid that DF-17 hypersonic missiles might not be stopped by Taiwan’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile system. This is due to the DF-17 ability to change direction mid-flight at speeds of between Mach 5-10.
China also deployed S-400 missile defense systems in several bases in the South East. Andrei Chang, an editor-in-chief of Kanwa Defense Review, said that the S-400 systems in the South East can cover the ‘whole of Taiwan’. A report also showed that 20 Chinese air force brigades are present along the coast across Taiwan. Complementing them, are also 10-13 brigades from the People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps. Mr.Chang believes that the movement of heavy equipment and troops into the South East is a sign of a possible invasion:
The size of some of the missile bases in the Eastern and Southern theatre commands have even been doubled in recent years showing that PLA is stepping up preparations for a war targeting Taiwan.Andrei Chang
Recently, the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Guangdong where he told his troops to prepare for war.