China Flexes Military Muscle for Chinese New Year

A short video from the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force released on state TV during the Lunar New Year in China on January 30 featured images of six DF-15 ballistic missiles.

In the CCTV 7 footage, PLA soldiers at the Rocket Force issued New Year greetings to the public, standing in formation in front of the missiles, which has been called by local media as China’s “secret weapon.

According to the Daily Mail, they held up a banner which read: “Officers and men from the Rocket Force wish people around the country a happy New Year.

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The video showcased the DF-15B short-range missiles, a new and improved version of the original DF-15 missile, which were introduced in 2009 during the military parade to honor the country’s 60th National Day.

The DF-15B missile reportedly travels at a speed of 1.4 miles per second and is expected to be accurate to within sights of 98 feet.

In January, China also tested the DF-5C ICBM using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs, reported the Indian Express.

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The Dongfeng-5C missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province, and landed on a desert in western China.

There is an estimated 250 warheads in the nation’s arsenal, but reports of the latest missile test suggested that the actual number could be higher.

In February 2016, China also added warheads to older DF-5 missiles, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, which closely monitored the test of the inert warheads.

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The [Defense Department] routinely monitors Chinese military developments and accounts for PLA capabilities in our defense plans,” Commander Gary Ross, a spokesman for the Pentagon, was quoted as saying.

U.S. defense officials have previously warned that the rapid development of ballistic missiles in China could bring uncertainty and instability in the region.

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