Monday, July 27, 2009

Chinese military to launch official Web site

Chinese military is learning the importance of a good public relation in world's media

BEIJING — China's Defense Ministry will launch its first official Web site next month in what state media said Thursday was an effort by the secretive military to be more transparent.

China has long been tightlipped about its military strength and capacity, drawing criticism from other countries wary of the Asian giant's growing power and skyrocketing military spending, although Beijing says it is purely for defense.

The Web site — in English and Chinese — will run on a trial basis starting Aug. 1, which marks the anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, the world's largest with 2.3 million members, the official China Daily said.

Its editors say they hope to make it as informative as the U.S. Defense Department's Web site, the newspaper reported.

The Web site appears aimed at reassuring Asian and Western nations that the PLA is becoming more accessible to the outside world, dxperts told the China Daily.

"As more attention is being given to online information, the Chinese army has moved one step forward in its public diplomacy," Professor Li Xiguang, dean of Tsinghua University's journalism school, was quoted as saying.

The Web site's launch "is a major step for the PLA to open up to the outside world," Sr. Col. Huang Xueping, deputy director of the ministry's information office, said in an interview with the newspaper. The office was only set up last year.

The site will "cover a large amount of information," featuring regular activities and background of the Chinese military.

China's military spending has jumped by double-digit percentages for nearly two decades. This year, Beijing announced a 14.9 percent rise in military spending to 480.68 billion yuan ($70.27 billion), though it was a smaller increase than previous years.

That spending puts it on par with Japan, Russia and Britain, but it is still dwarfed by the U.S., which spends nearly 10 times as much.

In recent years, China has been increasing its international military ties as it attempts to modernize its army. Earlier this year, Chinese warships were sent to patrol waters off Somalia as part of the international effort against piracy.

But China's military growth has also been the source of friction, with multiple confrontations at sea this year between Chinese vessels and U.S. naval ships, including a collision between a Chinese submarine and a U.S. sonar device.

In March, the U.S. Defense Department released a report saying Beijing's rapidly growing military power was shifting the military balance in the region and could be used to enforce its claim in disputed territories. While tensions have eased between the two sides, it warned that "much uncertainty surrounds China's future course, particularly regarding how its expanding military power might be used."

The military is also planning to establish more information offices nationwide and hold more press conferences, spokesman Huang said.

The first batch of military press officers, selected from the different armed forces, graduated in March from a boot camp on public relations, the China Daily reported.

Monday, July 20, 2009

China successfully tested a new rocket engine for Long March 5 heavy lift rocket

Long March 5 is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). Currently, six CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 25,000 kg to LEO and 14,000 kg to GTO. The CZ-5 rocket is due to be first launched in 2014 from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan island.

The CZ-5 rockets will be comparable to the Delta IV Heavy, Atlas V, Ariane 5, Angara A5, Proton, and Falcon 9.

Estimate spec:
Height 60.5 metres
Diameter 5.2 metres
Mass 643,000 kilograms
Stages 3
Payload to LEO
25,000 kilograms
Payload to GTO
14,000 kilograms

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chinese Military to establish a space force

China's PLA eyes 4th branch of military: Space

Chinese military experts are calling for setting up military space forces, an indication that Beijing’s military is moving ahead with plans to wage space war in a future conflict.

The Beijing Zhongguo Xinwen She, the official news service for overseas Chinese, reported recently that space, dubbed “sky” by Chinese, is now a fourth domain after land sea and air.

“The vast and boundless space has become the arena of rivalry and contention between various countries, and warning signals have emerged everywhere,” the report said. “Before long, the ‘heavenly troops’ in Chinese classical myths will become reality.”

Wang Faan, researcher in the PLA Academy of Military Science, told the news outlet that “in accordance with the development trend in the future and the changes in the international situation, while planning the building of services and arm[ed] branches, the Chinese military should consider and plan the establishment of the space force in due course.”

In January 2007, China tested an anti-satellite weapon by firing a ground-based missile that destroyed a Chinese weather satellite. The ASAT test shocked U.S. military planners because it demonstrated a strategic asymmetric warfare capability that could be used to cripple the U.S. military in a conflict.

The report said China’s military modernization efforts are aimed at producing high-technology forces. “The establishment of a space force should be planned in due course,” it declared.

The comments, appearing in an official state-run news organization, appear to contradict China’s public position of seeking to ban space weapons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chinese Army is equipped with crossbow in Xinjiang

Xinjiang riots: Modern Chinese army displays ancient preference for crossbow

By John Bingham

A staple of warfare in medieval Europe, they are believed to have been used in China since about 400BC, appearing in Greece slightly later.
Despite the telescopic sights and gun-like triggers which give them more than a passing resemblance to a modern sniper rifle, the crossbows wielded by members of the military units operating in Urumqi retain a striking resemblance to their ancient counterparts.
A staple of warfare in mediaeval Europe, they are believed to have been used in China since about 400BC, appearing in Greece slightly later.
Featured in Sun Tzu's The Art of War, remnants of crossbows were even found in the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, among his Terracotta Army.
Although they are believed to have been first used for hunting, the military potential of the crossbow was quickly appreciated.
Firing short dart-like missiles known as bolts further and faster than a traditional bow, they proved capable even of piercing armour.
Modern varieties can fire sleek metallic bolts or bullets.
In Europe, crossbows were used by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, where they were said to penetrate English shields.
Replacing the longbow, they remained in use for a further 400 years, after which they were superseded by guns.
In China, large, catapult-like versions were developed, employing basic mechanics to string the bow, line up the bolt and fire it in a single motion.
The repeating crossbow was widely used until the late 19th Century.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Iran to buy China's HQ-9 SAM air defense system

News source from Aviationweek. Seems like China is developing closer military relationship with Iran. What other military equipment China can sell to Iran ?

Iran to buy China's HQ-9 SAM air defense system

Iran will turn to China instead of Russia to acquire an advanced air defense system after relations between Iran and Russia hit rock bottom, the official Iranian news agency PressTV reported. For years Iran has been trying to purchase the S-300 anti-aircraft missile, which is considered to be one of the most advanced systems available on the market and would dramatically increase Iran's air defense capabilities against any attacks on its nuclear installations.

HongQi-9/FD-2000 system

The S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which can track targets and fire at aircraft 75 miles away, features high jamming immunity making it harder to incapacitate the system electronically, and is able to engage up to 100 targets simultaneously.

Teheran will now turn to China for the HongQi-9/FD-2000 system which combines elements "borrowed" from the Russian S-300 and the American MIM-104 Patriot system, according to the Iranian news agency. Although experts estimate that the Chinese system does not perform as well as the Russian S-300, it still presents an effective addition to bolster the Iranian air defense, which is virtually obsolete against any modern air attack on its vital strategic installations. There is no unclassified information regarding the effectiveness of western countermeasures against the HongQi-9/FD-2000 system, nor against the Russian S-300. There was unconfirmed speculation over possible electronic countermeasures used during the 2007 attack on the alleged Syrian reactor.