China Ready To Neutralize THAAD/U.S. Missile Shield In South Korea Retired PLA General Says
Catherine Wong wrote in the March 13, 2017 online edition of the South China Morning Post, that “Beijing knew it might not be able to prevent the U.S. deployment of the anti-missile system – THAAD – and, was preparing to counter with its own anti-radar equipment,” according to a retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General. THAAD is an abbreviation for Terminal High Altitude Air Defense System, a sophisticated radar and anti-missile system, designed to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles.
PLA General (Ret.) Wang Hongguang, former Deputy Commander of the Nanjing Military Region, said “China could not take the chance the next South Korean President would change policy and roll back the deployment,” and thus China needed to take pro-active defense measures of its own. As Mrs. Wong notes, South Korea’s previous president — Pres. Park Geun-hey’s was impeached late last week and forced out of office. Mrs,Geun-Hey favored the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system — to counter the burgeoning North Korean nuclear threat.
Gen. Hongguang told the publication that China had measures in place to neutralize THAAD: “We will complete our deployment before THAAD begins operations. There is no need to wait two months [before a new South Korean Pres. takes office]. We already have such equipment in place. We just have to move it to the right spot,” he added.
Yue Gang, a military commentator and former PLA colonel, said China could either destroy THAAD, or neutralize it, Ms. Wong reported. “Destroying THAAD [should] only be an option in wartime; but, China could interfere with the system’s functions through electromagnetic technology,” he said. Col. Yue added that “an ideal place to install the Chinese equipment was on the Shandong peninsula on China’s east coast, opposite South Korea.”
Fu Qianshao, an aviation equipment expert with the PLA Air Force, said “China could also send planes — manned, or unmanned — to fly close to THAAD to interfere with radar signals. All the country’s armed forces have the capacity to interfere with radar signals.”
Gen. Wang Hongguang said “China’s chief concern was not just with South Korea’s deployment of an American anti-missile system; but, also the United States’ broader potential to contain the region in a sophisticated web of missile defense systems in Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, and even Taiwan.”
Beijing no doubt has seen the deployment of similar type anti-missile systems by the U.S. in Europe and Israel in the Middle East; and, knows that THAAD, if deployed in enough places, would certainly be an important counter by the U.S. to China’s anti-access, area-denial strategy, aimed primarily at the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. Beijing has also been asserting its military might and muscular military posture in the South China Sea and the Pacific — in a strategy designed to establish itself as the ‘alpha male’ in the Pacific; and, undermine trust of America by her Pacific allies. Beijing’s military assertiveness really gained momentum under eight years of the Obama administration; and, the THADD deployment — in many ways — represents the first big, tangible move on the military chessboard since POTUS Trump took office. While this deployment had been approved by POTUS Obama, this issue is now a POTUS Trump, President Xi chess match.. How this deployment evolves, and China’s counter moves, will be closely watched throughout the Pacific; and. probably in Tehran as well. This is big-power competition that is must watch, cold reality, especially in Beijing, Washington, Tehran, Moscow, and the Pacific. V/R, RCP.