- BEIJING (Reuters) - China
to earmark 80 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) to boost its second
capabilities in response to any nuclear attack, the Digest Weekly
newspaper said in an edition seen on Sunday.
- General Zhang Wannian announced
that the Central Committee
of the Communist Party and the State
Council, or cabinet, have approved
a proposal to "upgrade the
capability of the armed forces' defence
system", the weekly said.
- The proposal by the Defence Ministry calls for
a vigorous counterattack once hegemonists and their
military alliance use
nuclear weapons to make a surprise attack on
China", Zhang was quoted
as saying, in apparent reference to the
- China has accused the United States of harbouring hegemonistic
ambitions and is opposed to the proposed Theatre Missile Defence system
designed to shield U.S. troops in Asia against missiles from rogue
- "The programme for China to develop effective second
strike capabilities has been under way for a long time," said Robert
Karniol, Asia correspondent of Jane's Defence Weekly in Bangkok.
- The programme
includes miniaturisation of nuclear warheads
and the development of
missiles capable of carrying more than one warhead
and hitting multiple
targets, military analysts said.
- China, one of the world's five
nuclear powers, has pledged
not to use nuclear weapons first. The other
four are the United States,
Russia, France and Britain.
- The People's
Liberation Army (PLA) vowed to speed up
its modernisation after the
NATO bombing of Beijing's embassy in Belgrade
- The United States has
apologised saying it was a mistake,
but many ordinary Chinese and the
state media are convinced it was deliberate.
- The Digest Weekly said in its Friday edition that China
has adjusted its security strategy.
- In the future, China would
focus on rapidly developing
its high-tech counter-attack capability
instead of merely defending itself
within its own territory, said the
weekly, which is published by the official
- The PLA, which is
trimming its numbers by 500,000 to
2.5 million by next year, would
concentrate on possessing "command
of the seas, electronics and
electromagnetics", the weekly said.
- Zhang, one of two vice-chairmen
of the Communist Party's
powerful Central Military Commission, quoted
Jiang Zemin as saying real
national security meant combining
"political security, economic security
- Jiang holds the top jobs in the party, the government
- The PLA -- the world's biggest army -- ruffled regional
feathers in 1996 when it conducted war games and missile tests in waters
near Taiwan in the run-up to the island's first direct presidential
- The United States threw its weight behind Taiwan, sending
naval battlegroups to the area.
- Tension between Beijing and arch-rival Taipei flared
again in July when Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui declared that bilateral
ties should be on a "special state-to-state" basis.
- Beijing regards
Taiwan as a rebel province and has threatened
to invade if the island
- ($1=8.277 Yuan)