Chinese Satellites
Continuously Monitoring
US Army
BEIJING (Agence France Presse) - China has 17 spy satellites that continuously monitor the movements of the US military and which could also be used to guide a "saturated" missile attack on US and Taiwan warships, a Chinese regional daily received here Tuesday reported.
"If the US seeks to intervene militarily into the internal affairs of China and Taiwan, they will find that the entirety of their global movements are seen by Chinese spy satellites," the Sichuan Youth Daily, citing a Chinese military expert, reported.
China has the capability to rapidly determine the number and location of American aircraft carriers should Washington decide to send its ships to the region as it did during a Sino-Taiwanese crisis in 1996, expert Zhou Guanwu said.
"China has a lot of anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles that can be guided by satellites and adjusted for a saturated attack in local waters," the paper said.
"Enemy troops, either American or Taiwanese, will have difficulty withstanding this," it said.
Zhou further said China, like the US, also had the capability to destroy the optics of satellites with laser technology, while admitting that the optical equipment of Chinese satellites were also at the mercy of US laser technology.
At the end of 1997, China had a total of 40 domestic-made satellites in orbit of which 17 were spy satellites, eight were meteorological satellites, three were telecommunication satellites and 12 were scientific satellites, the paper said.
Relations between Beijing and Taipei intensified at the beginning of July following statements by Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui that relations between the two should be conducted on a "special state-to-state" basis.
China has viewed the statements as a denunciation of the "one China principle," which has been the main point of agreement between the two sides since the Nationalist government fled the mainland 50 years ago.
Friday's National Day military parade marking 50 years of mainland communist rule showcased a wealth of Chinese missile technology and was seen as an explicit warning to Taiwan to refrain from activities advocating independence.
Beijing has refused to renounce the use of force in reunifying Taiwan should the rebel island declare independence or foreign forces interfere in the Taiwan issue.
Last Thursday, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji warned Western businessmen that the US was risking armed conflict in the region by supporting Taiwan.