China has deployed more advanced and survivable solid-fuel nuclear capable CSS-5 MRBM missiles against India as a ‘deterrent posture’, Pentagon has said warning that a high degree of mistrust continues to strain their bilateral ties.
The PLA has replaced liquid-fueled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fueled CSS-5 MRBM systems to strengthen its deterrent posture relative to India, the Pentagon has said in its annual report on Chinese military build up to the Congress.
The report also says that Beijing is pumping in huge investments on border infrastructure developments laying more roads and rail network along the Sino-Indian border.
“Although this construction is primarily aimed at facilitating economic development in western China, improved roads could also support PLA border defense operations,” it said.
Pentagon said that New Delhi remains concerned by China’s close military ties with Pakistan and its growing footprints in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and Africa.
The report noted that Pakistan continued to be China’s primary customer for conventional weapons and sales to Islamabad included newly rolled out JF-17 fighters with production facilities, F-22P frigates with helicopters, early warning and control aircraft, tanks, K-8 trainers, F-7 fighters, air-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles and missile technologies.
On Sino-Indian ties, Pentagon said, that though bilateral dialogue between the two nations increased, border tensions remained an irritant.
“China deepened its ties with India through increased trade and high-level dialogues in 2010, though border tensions remained an irritant in the bilateral relationship. Bilateral trade in 2010 reached nearly USD 60 billion,” Pentagon said.
The two neighbours have held several rounds of dialogue over disputed territorial claims. Sino-Indian defense ties were institutionalised in 2007 with the establishment of an Annual Defense Dialogue, the report said.
“Though India cancelled high-level military exchanges following China’s denial of visa to a senior Indian general in 2010, both sides agreed to resume exchanges in April 2011,” the Pentagon said.
The US Defence Department in its assessment said that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s trip to New Delhi in 2010 attempted to smooth over differences following a year of uneasy relations, but he did not address serious irritants.
“A high degree of mistrust continues to strain the bilateral relationship,” it said.