Chinese Anti Access and Area Denial

The People’s Liberation Army is modernizing both its air defense and ballistic missile capabilities as a means of protecting its interests and projecting power beyond its territory, according to the Pentagon’s 2012 annual report on Chinese military developments. Air defense is key to this strategy, notes the report. “China’s military modernization is, to an increasing extent, focusing on investments in military capabilities that would enable China’s armed forces to conduct a wide range of missions, including those farther from China,” states the report’s executive summary. The Chinese are emphasizing multi-target engagement capability, net-centric operations, and survivability in the development of their air defense systems, states the report. (According to a separate press report, China introduced a new medium-range surface-to-air missile system this past year known as the HQ-16.) Investments have reflected the emphasis on denying third-party intervention in a conflict across the Taiwan Strait, according to the report, released on May 18. The PLA Air Force is in the beginning stages of developing ballistic missile defenses and air and space integration tools for coordinating early warning networks, it states. (China report; caution, large-sized file.) (For more coverage of the China report, see Monitoring Chinese Military Growth and China’s Cyber Espionage.)