Taiwan Discloses New Chinese Submarine-Launched Missile Trials
Taiwan on Monday said China had test-launched ballistic missiles from one of its submarines prior to the start of 2012, the Taipei Times reported (see GSN, June 12, 2008).
Chinese newspaper reports of a new test of the People’s Liberation Army’s Julang 2 missile surfaced this week after a fisherman working in Shandong province came upon debris that might have come from a missile rocket. There have been rumors of up to six Julang 2 missiles being test-launched near the port city of Dalian in the Liaoning province.
Beijing intends to field as many as five next-generation Type 094 ballistic missile vessels that each can carry up to 12 Julang 2 missiles.
The Julang 2 is a solid-fuel variation of the Dongfeng 31 ICBM and is one of three options Beijing has for launching long-rang nuclear missile attacks, according to the newspaper. The missile is understood to have a top traveling distance of 4,971 miles.
Taiwanese National Defense Ministry spokesman Col. David Lo confirmed that the Chinese military had tested the Julang 2. There has been no official verification from Beijing.
Taipei says it is the target of more than 1,000 Chinese missiles (see GSN, Oct. 19, 2011). China considers Taiwan to be its territory and has vowed to take action to prevent the self-governing island and U.S. partner from attempting to pursue formal independence.
The reported missile test falls at a politically delicate time as Taiwanese presidential voting is scheduled for Saturday. In the past, Beijing has sought unsuccessfully to use missile trials to intimidate Taiwanese voters into electing leaders with China-friendly policies (see GSN, Dec. 14, 2011).