World

BEIJING (Web Desk) – China’s new ‘Guam killer’ missile, capable of hitting targets some 5,500 km away, is raising new fears of a growing Chinese threat to key American military facilities and stability in the Pacific Rim.

A congressional panel, in a report, has warned of the dangers of the DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile during a week in which US-China tensions intensified after a US Navy destroyer sailed close to a Chinese-claimed island in the disputed South China Sea.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said this week that China’s DF-26 missile, dubbed by analysts as the “Guam killer” and unveiled at a high-profile military parade in Beijing last September, allows China to bring unprecedented firepower to bear on the US territory of Guam. The territory sits well within the missile’s range.

Guam sits 4023 km from Beijing, which puts it about 1,120 km beyond the range of China’s land-based medium-range missiles. But intermediate-range missiles such as the DF-26 have a range of up to 3,400 miles, according to the Pentagon, putting Guam within striking distance.

“Foremost among China’s military assets capable of reaching Guam, the DF-26 IRBM represents the culmination of decades of advancements to China’s conventional ballistic missile forces,” CNN quoted the commission’s report as saying.

While the current state of Chinese guidance technology makes any threat low at the moment, the report warned that “China’s commitment to continuing to modernize its strike capabilities indicates the risk will likely grow going forward.”

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission was established by Congress in 2000 to look at issues between the two Pacific powers. It is required to submit an annual report to Congress on US-China relations and advise Congress on possible legislative and administration actions.